Skip to main content

What To Expect From Black Panther At The Start Of His Solo Movie

Chadwick Boseman Black Panther T'Challa Okoye Danai Gurira

When we last saw T'Challa a.k.a. Black Panther on the big screen, things weren't precisely going great for him. In Captain America: Civil War, he not only had a front row seat to the assassination of his father, King T'Chaka, but also found himself embroiled in an international conflict involving the biggest superheroes on the planet. That's quite a lot to deal with, but as we learned from Chadwick Boseman on the set of the upcoming Black Panther solo film last year, he will have a whole host of new issues to face when we see him next. Said Boseman,

He's been Black Panther before, but I would say at the beginning of this movie he's dealing with... it's shortly after Civil War has ended, so he's still mourning. There's unrest in Wakanda. So what he's dealing with is being the king, making the transition to filling the footsteps of his father. So it's probably going to feel like it's more about the political unrest than the superhero initially.

Marvel fans have seen royal family drama play out before in the Thor movies, but what it sounds like what Black Panther has in store is quite a bit different than a spat between brothers over who should be sitting on the throne. I was part of a group of journalists to fly out to Atlanta, Georgia when the film was still in production in early 2017, and it was during a roundtable interview with Chadwick Boseman that we got the lowdown on where the titular character is at the start of the story. It would seem that Wakanda is not yet over the shocking death of King T'Chaka, and while T'Challa is the familial heir, there is some doubt regarding whether or not he is ready for the big job. Or as producer Nate Moore put it when we sat down with him earlier in the day,

What happens when he goes home? Who rules Wakanda? How does Wakanda now deal with the loss of a king who was a fair king, who people seemed to like? And is T'Challa ready to be the king of Wakanda?

As it turns out, not every leader in Wakanda is going to be super on-board with the idea of T'Challa taking the throne -- despite the fact that it is his birthright, and that he has been preparing to take on the job for his entire life. The reality is that nobody saw the assassination of T'Chaka coming, so it's unclear if T'Challa is yet mature enough to take on the job, leading some individuals who question if there's someone more capable for it. It's from this conflict that we will see some major players emerge, including Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger and Winston Duke's M'Baku.

During our interview, Nate Moore succinctly explained T'Challa's relationship with the other leaders of Wakanda, and hinted at how it will not only lead to developments in the plot of Black Panther, but also create some substantial inner conflict for the titular hero:

You do in a way. And I say that because a big part of the beginning of the movie is this adjustment to life without T'Chaka. You see some of the other leaders in Wakanda and how they interact with T'Challa sort of indicates how they feel about him. And I think for him, this is a guy who wasn't planning to be king any time soon. So he sort of being thrust into a leadership position almost before his time. So he's not even sure if he's the right leader for Wakanda.

This is truly only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the material we learned on the set of Black Panther, and we will have a ton more coming your way in the next few days and weeks. Stay tuned for all of our coverage here on CinemaBlend, and look for the Marvel blockbuster in theaters on February 16th.

Eric Eisenberg

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.