Marvel Studios has had a very good summer, especially with the one-two punch release of Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. These superstar films came out just a mere two months apart, so those who loved Black Panther (which was pretty much everyone) didn't have to wait long to return to Wakanda. Featuring Wakanda as the location for the climactic third act in Infinity War was actually something of a gamble, however, because the creators had no guarantee Black Panther would be a hit, co-writer Stephen McFeely recently pointed out.
Listen, a year ahead of time, we had no idea 'Wakanda Forever' was going to be amazing. We tested this movie a few times, and when we got to this scene, most of the audiences, say in January and early February, went, 'Oh this is an interesting place, I've never been here before.' After mid-February, once Black Panther had come out, this scene gets a huge cheer. It just rewards you investing in these characters. I shouldn't have been surprised, but boy, I was really pleased.
Regardless of early unknowns, adding Wakanda to the superhero team-up movie was something that clearly worked out for everyone. Happily, it's something the creators are willing to talk about, as well. It wasn't that long ago that Avengers: Infinity War was in theaters, and the blockbuster movie is already available on Digital HD. Fans who purchase it or the upcoming Blu-ray have access to all kinds of special features, ranging from the standard gag reel to a roundtable discussion amongst a who's who of Marvel directors. One of the best features for behind-the-scenes trivia comes from the feature commentary with directors Joe and Anthony Russo and writers Chris Markus and Stephen McFeely. The creators of the movie dropped a lot of interesting information in the commentary, including the decision to set the third act in Wakanda before really knowing what was going on in Black Panther.
Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther were filming in Atlanta, Georgia at the same time, so no one making Infinity War really knew to expect from the solo movie or how people would react to it. Seeing as how a huge chunk of the movie takes place in Black Panther's world, that was a risk, but it made story sense to be in Wakanda. As co-director Joe Russo pointed out, Wakanda is really the only place on Earth that could have protected Vision and the Mind Stone.
It was a big conversation early on. I said, 'We're going to set a lot of the third act in Wakanda, because if you're going to go anywhere in the world to protect a McGuffin from an evil alien, it's going to be Wakanda.'
Obviously, everything worked out pretty well, and McFeely even ventured to go on and call the early decision a "slam dunk." Both movies went on to be mega hits and one has to wonder how many Black Panther fans ended up seeing Infinity War just to see those characters again.