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As portrayed in the pages of Marvel Comics, the African nation of Wakanda is unlike any other place on Earth. Thanks to their remarkable natural resources, they have not only managed to regularly avoid invasion and colonization, but their advances in technology are matched by no other civilization. This obviously has an important effect on the vision of the country as a whole -- but when it came to bringing it to the big screen in the upcoming Black Panther movie, it also presented an issue. As we learned from producer Nate Moore on set, there was some concern about potentially making the place look too alien. The filmmaker explained,
The Golden City is, we think, the most amazing city in the world in a way that also feels grounded. What we were very afraid of was making Wakanda almost too Kirby-esque -- and by that I mean making it feel almost like they're alien and not human. The truth is, they're human. They're just 20 or 25 years ahead of us. Having a city built on Vibranium allows them to have all these advances and have wealth beyond our wildest imaginings, and that's a big part of the movie.
Nate Moore spoke extensively about what to expect from Black Panther last year when we had the chance to interview him on the set of the film -- flying out to Atlanta, Georgia with a group of other journalists. The nation of Wakanda, including its history and politics, will be a very important part of the Marvel blockbuster, but apparently it wasn't the easiest place to bring to life. The design process had its fair share of difficulties, as the production wanted to ultimately make Wakanda look like it is a place that is located here on Earth -- rather than making audiences feel like they've traveled off-world at some point.
For those uninitiated, the secret behind Wakanda is the metal known as Vibranium -- the special material used to construct Captain America's shield. The entire country was founded on a mine full of the stuff, and its special qualities allowed those that discovered it to do miraculous things. As a result, the country is a unique blend of the old world and the new, with classic architecture blending with technologies unlike anything the rest of the planet has ever seen.
Adding to his statement, Nate Moore also offered where the bulk of Wakanda's special tech comes from in the Black Panther movie. While T'Challa may be the titular hero of the feature, it is his little sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) who is the true brain behind the operation, and keeping her country miles ahead of the curve. Moore explained,
As far as the technologically-advanced side, in our mind, and in our incarnation, Shuri is the head of the Wakanda Design Group. She's the smartest person in the world, smarter than Tony Stark but she's a sixteen year old girl, which we thought was really interesting. Again, black faces in positions of power or positions of technological know-how, that's a rarity. So it's something that's a big part of the film.
Learning more about Wakanda is unquestionably one of fans' most anticipated aspects of Black Panther, and it won't be too much longer until the blockbuster lesson is upon us. Marvel Studios is set to have the film in theaters on February 16th -- and we would highly recommend staying tuned here on CinemaBlend for a lot more about the movie between now and then.