Black Panther is bringing a whole host of new characters to the MCU and one of the most anticipated characters is Shuri, the sister of T’Challa, played by Letitia Wright. She has had a monumental role in recent years in the comics and her development as a character will be watched carefully by many people. Recently it was announced that Shuri not only appears in the African focused solo franchise launch but also will be part of Infinity War. In the midst of all the shooting, the actress took some time with Interview Magazine to discuss her take on the character.
While T’Challa has always been one of the many scientifically brilliant people in the Marvel Universe (often working in labs alongside Reed Richards, Tony Stark, and Hank McCoy), in the new movie it sounds like Shuri will also have an important science edge to her character.
She’s princess of Wakanda, but also she designs all of the new technology there. She has an innovative spirit and an innovative mind, and she wants to take Wakanda to a new place…And that’s good for other people to see, especially for young people to see, because it’s like, “Look, there’s a young black girl who loves technology and she’s from Africa.” It’s something refreshing.
Black Panther is an important film for the MCU in that it will be the first film with a majority African-American (or in some cases African) cast and the first film directed by an African-American. But recently various stories are suggesting that the film will also try to break some glass ceilings for female characters as well. The quote her brings hope that the film will inspire all kinds of young women to be more involved in the sciences. This twist on Shuri is exciting and it’ll be fun to see if the “Science Bros” have to drop their masculine monkier.
Shuri is also a new character to Letitia, who shares that she doesn’t really know much about the comics, as famous actors normally are (unlike us superior nerds).
I wasn’t really into comics, but I started to get more into it as I was auditioning. And then I realized Shuri, my character, has such a major arc in the comic books. To see a female character in that position is amazing. So I was like, “Where have I been all these years?”
For long time comic fans it is refreshing to hear these kinds of comments. Many people into comics have long felt like they were reading the best stuff that no one in the society at larger was aware of. When a major actress essentially admits that she was missing it out, it validates the fans’ love of these properties. It also should inspire those not into the comics to take a look and see what all the fuss is about.
In general, these comments show that Black Panther is really aiming at empowering people. Its focus on ethnically diverse characters and female characters will provide a lot of new role models for kids who too often see superhero films without protagonists who look like them. Ryan Coogler and crew seem to be working on something special.
Do you like the idea of Shuri being the tech wizard of Wakanda? Are you getting more excited for this release as we get more information? Do you think we will get to see Shuri take the role of Black Panther? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Source: Interview Magazine