Black Panther is one of Marvel’s most anticipated superhero movies coming out next year, but it’ll feel more like a political thriller and family genre than a traditional superhero movie.
Executive producer Nate Moore told Entertainment Weekly that unlike other Marvel movies, like The Avengers and more recently, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Black Panther will feel less like a traditional genre film. Instead, Black Panther will be a cross between James Bond movies and The Godfather, focusing on a dysfunctional, powerful family and incorporating themes of espionage.
“A big, operatic family drama centered on a world of international espionage,” Moore said. “So hopefully we’re getting the best of both worlds.”
Much has happened since Captain America: Civil War, which was the first time Black Panther was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. T’Challa has returned home to Wakanda following the death of his father, taking his rightful seat on the throne. Part of what makes T’Challa’s character different from other heroes in the MCU is that he sees himself as a king, a politician and not as a hero.
“That’s the first thing on his mind when he wakes up in the morning,” director Ryan Coogler told Entertainment Weekly. “‘How am I going to fulfill my duties as king of this place?’”
Black Panther’s first and foremost concern is for the people of Wakanda and ensuring they’re okay, but he’ll also have to contend with ambitious siblings and rival tribes who believe there needs to be a change in power. One of the antagonists who will be an ongoing issue in both the Wakandan community and for T’Challa himself is Erik Killmonger.
Killmonger is an associate of Ulysses Klaue, the arms dealer who was introduced in Civil War and played by Andy Serkis. Out of all those who appose T’Challa and the way Wakanda is currently being run, Killmonger is the most vocal about his displeasure. He has an opinion on how the world should be run and is willing to take on T’Challa in order to bring those changes about.
“I think that puts T’Challa in a difficult situation,” Moore said. “Killmonger is a voice of a different side of Wakanda.”
On top of dealing with issues within his own world, T’Challa will also be dealing with his own guilt over what happened in Civil War. Actor Chadwick Boseman told Entertainment Weekly that part of his guilt comes from a feeling that he’ll disappoint his father and not wanting to screw up the legacy that was set before him. It’s a story of honor, pride and family values with superhero aspects thrown into the mix.
“It’s shortly after Civil War has ended so he’s still in mourning,” Boseman said. There’s a guilt in terms of taking the throne. There’s a feeling that he wishes that his father would have been alive to see it, if he would have given up the thrown for being too old. That’s the ideal way. His mindset is one of guilt and unsureness because he doesn’t have [his father] there.”
More information about the movie is expected to be released at San Diego Comic-Con, which runs from July 20 through 23. Black Panther will be released on Feb. 16, 2018.