During the 2017 Annual Legislative Conference for the Congressional Black Congress, a panel was held in honor of Marvel’s Black Panther. Moderated by ESPN’s Jay Harris, the panel entitled “Imagining a Bigger World—Marvel’s Black Panther, Cultural Heritage and STEM” included the following: director Ryan Coogler, Danai Gurira, Belinda Frazier (Disney’s director of diversity outreach), Black Panther EP Nate Moore, and Rick Loverd, who is the head of the National Academy of Sciences’ Science and Entertainment Exchange. To an audience wherein reportedly 95% of the attendees were black, five minutes of footage was shown. The Root (via SuperBroMovies) has relayed the following about what was depicted on screen:
The trailer opens with King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) in a black tailored suit walking into a red-carpeted casino with a Dora Milaje (the special all-female Wakandan royal security force) on each arm—Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Okoye (Danai Gurira). They’re scoping out the place, talking through hidden microphones, looking for mercenary Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis).
Klaue arrives with about 10 goons and starts bragging about what’s in his pants (literally) and trying to negotiate a deal with Agent Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) for a briefcase holding a small sample of an ore called “Vibranium.” One of his goons notices the Dora Milaje, the deal goes bad, bullets start flying, and everybody was kung fu fighting.
The action is kinetic, like a mixture of Coogler’s fight scenes from Creed and the manic bullet ballets from Kingsman movies. Okoye and Nakia pull out spears and start fighting off henchmen, and T’Challa is diving over tables while Klaue is shooting at Ross, T’Challa and everyone else to make his escape. T’Challa effortlessly makes a 20-foot leap into the upper balcony to chase after Klaue, only to have to dodge a slew of lasers as Klaue’s hand transforms into a cannon of some kind. Then the scene ends.
In the next scene, T’Challa is seen running through brightly lit city streets chasing an SUV. As he runs, his formal casino wear morphs around his body, seamlessly changing him into the Black Panther costume.
Black Panther jumps on top of the fleeing SUV while you see Okoye pull out a gigantic golden spear and throw it in front of the vehicle, where it props up like a light post. The car smashes full speed into the spear. The spear holds its groundas the car flips over, and as it does, you see Black Panther leap from the top of the roof of the car, onto a nearby building, where he begins to run up the side—like Spider-Man, but with better coordination.
Next you see Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and T’Challa prepare to battle in the sacred falls that have been shown in previous trailers. It’s clear that in the movie, King T’Challa will be challenged several times for leadership of Wakanda in ritual combat.
As T’Challa and Killmonger square off, you see a red battle suit similar to Black Panther’s form around Killmonger, and he leaps at the king. They fight, kicking, punching and swinging, before falling off a waterfall together, fighting all the way down into the cloudy waters below.
In what appears to be another leadership challenge, M’Baku (Winston Duke), the leader of the White Gorilla Cult, steps out of a cave into the sacred lake to battle T’Challa. He’s much larger than Wakanda’s king and wears a large mask that resembles an ape.
After that, there are a series of quick scenes showing Black Panther dropping out of a airplane, a secret lab full of weapons and Black Panther suits being tested, more butt-kicking, and Michael B. Jordan scowling at T’Challa.
It was to be expected, but everything we’re hearing about Black Panther, thus far, sound incredibly promising from various standpoints. Thankfully, the wait for the film is coming to a close. Black Panther opens in theaters on February 19, 2018.
What are you looking forward to the most when the film releases? Share your thoughts in the comments below.