Marvel Studios has a strong history of looking for writers within their own ranks. The storied ‘Marvel Writing Program’ has helped bring Guardians of the Galaxy to life via Nicole Perlman (who is also writing Captain Marvel) and now that program is bearing more fruit by handing off the writing duties for Black Panther to Joe Robert Cole. Slashfilm sat down with Cole to get some insight on the upcoming film.
Chadwick Boseman‘s incredible portrayal of T’Challa stood out amongst an already star-studded performance from the cast of Captain America: Civil War, so it’s no surprise Cole is looking to build on Boseman’s debut:
“First, I think Chadwick did a phenomenal job in Civil War in setting the tone for him being a king, for the nobility,” Cole said. “At the end, I thought his turn was fantastic and how he rose above his own vengeance. I think that was a great introduction to him.
Bringing attention to the aftermath of Civil War appears to be a strong focus of the film. Cole went on to give a bit more information on the timeline for the film and where it fits in:
Our standalone movie will begin shortly after Civil War ends. So we’ll be able to see him mourning and him starting to take command as king of his own nation. Lots of things are going to occur within regards to that. The country will be under threat from inside and out so we’ll learn what Wakanda is, that nation, as the most technologically advanced nation on the planet. Also, as Wakanda’s rise to prominence happens, it will affect the MCU moving forward which is really exciting.”
Wakanda, due to its isolation, is a formidable nation in the center of Africa, but it’s also one of the richest nations. In the comics, T’Challa is said to be worth more than Tony Stark himself. Along with the wealth, it’s one of the most technologically advanced nations in the MCU. Finally getting to witness the technological prowess from the Wakandan nation will be amazing for fans, and the MCU as a whole.
Africa is essentially its own universe, made up of several tribes and cultures. The White Gorilla Cult, for example, an outlawed tribe of Wakandans led by M’Baku aka Man-Ape is just one of the many enemies of Wakanda that Cole could call upon in the script.
Cole seems to have a good grasp on how to intertwine all of the cultural and technological aspects of the film with his approach:
Africa is such a huge nation,” Cole said. “There are so many countries, each of them with different histories, mythologies, and cultures but what we tried to do was hone in on some of the history, some of the cultural influences and then extrapolate out in our technology, extrapolate out in how we see Wakanda and the different parts of the country and the culture of the country as well. So we wanted to root it in reality first and then build out from there, so we’d feel pretty authentic and grounded.”
Authenticity does not look like it will be a problem for Cole when you’re focusing on the cultural aspects of Wakanda. Along with Micheal B. Jordan‘s role as Erik Kilmonger, themes of jealousy will likely emerge in the conflict to take the throne from T’Challa. We will have to wait until 2018 to see how it all plays out!