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Peter T Chattaway

Black Panther

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Links to our threads on Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Avengers (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Ant-Man (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Doctor Strange (2016), Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War Part I (2018), Captain Marvel (2018), Inhumans (2018) and Avengers: Infinity War Part II (2019).

 

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EXCLUSIVE: The Next Standalone Marvel Movie After Cap Takes Place In Wakanda!
THE BLACK PANTHER is going to headline his own film!
How do I know? Let’s say I got it from FOUR different trusted sources.
Marvel is going BIG TIME after the urban film audience and I applaud them for that. Last year, it was reported that Marvel hired Mark Bailey to pen the script and I hear the script is fantastic.
The clues were always there. They showed Wakanda on the map in Iron Man 2 and Captain America’s shield is made from Vibranium which also hails from Wakanda. The Black Panther has a long development history which at one point had Wesley Snipes attached to star. Marvel got the rights back to the character in 2005. . . .
Latino Review, June 5

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Note the photo at the bottom of this post from the Iron Man 2 thread:
 

A sharp-eyed fellow in another forum I frequent observed some cool tie-ins with other Avenger movies, namely the Hulk's rampage in New York, and locations of other future Avengers. Here are the screen-caps of his observations:

51pmp5.jpg

 

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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I read the title of this thread as "The Pink Panther." I think I would be more excited about that movie.

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Huh. I saw the thread title and thought it referred to this.

Edited by NBooth

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Does the character have anything to do with The Black Panthers?

According to Wikipedia, not necessarily. Unless you mean the tank battalion, in which case perhaps:

The Black Panther's name predates the October 1966 founding of the Black Panther Party, though not the black panther logo of the party's predecessor, the Lowndes County Freedom Organization, nor the segregated World War II Black Panthers Tank Battalion.

FWIW, Wikipedia links to this story, which traces the use of the black panther symbol in the years leading up to the founding of the Black Panther Party.

Edited by NBooth

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38 minutes ago, Tyler said:

Ryan Coogler will direct.

The release date has been pushed back to July, 2018.

I wonder how this will affect the release of other films. The polygon article claims this is the last Phase 3 film before the Infinity War, but the first of that two-parter is set to come out the year before the new release date of Panther. AntMan and Wasp was set to be released in July, 2018, so I'm sure that's changed. So will they move everything back? Or will we have an Antman sequel before the first Black Panther movie?

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6 minutes ago, Tyler said:

I think everything got moved around when they got the Spider-Man rights back. 

Yes they did, but now they'll presumably have to change again. Attached image is the schedule, including Spider-Man. 

image.png

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So if Ryan Coogler is directing, does that mean Michael B Jordan will have a role in this film?

Of course, Michael B Jordan already played Johnny Storm in Fox's ill-fated Fantastic Four reboot, so he might not want to do another Marvel movie.

Then again, Chris Evans played Johnny Storm in the earlier Fantastic Four movies and went on to play Captain America.

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On December 31, 2015 at 3:05 PM, Peter T Chattaway said:

So if Ryan Coogler is directing, does that mean Michael B Jordan will have a role in this film?

Yes, possibly as a villain. 

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And it begins with a Bilbo-Gollum reunion! (Martin Freeman was previously seen in Captain America: Civil War, and Andy Serkis was previously seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron.)

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Dude I didn't even think of that! Course I've been doing my best to forget the Hobbit movies as best I can. Though the first one was actually not that bad.

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Slight spoilers re: the film's ending.

In the nearly two weeks since the movie opened, I've been asking people if I missed anything regarding one of the film's more understated plot threads. Wakanda, we are told, is an advanced African civilization (with its own internal diversity: it is a conglomeration of five ancient tribes, each with its own culture and leadership structure) that has kept its technological advancements hidden from the world. In one early scene, our hero T'Challa is talking to someone who proposes letting African refugees into the country, and T'Challa says no, he can't do that, because the refugees would turn Wakanda into the sorts of countries that the refugees came from, and Wakanda would cease to be Wakanda. At the end of the film -- after defeating an American who sought to impose his own diversity-denying idea of global racial unity on Wakanda -- T'Challa announces that Wakanda will begin outreach programs around the world... but I don't believe I ever heard him say that he was going to let refugees into the country. He would reach *out* to other nations, but he never said anything about taking other nations *in*. At least, I don't remember him saying anything along those lines...

...and judging from comments like this one by John Ehrett @ The American Conservative, I am not the only one who noticed that the refugee thing is never referenced again (and oh, how I wish we could indent paragraphs again on this website):

"When all’s said and done, there’s a superficial reading of this film’s politics in which Black Panther is a straightforward tale of Wakanda’s journey towards Marvel-approved globalism. To be sure, T’Challa eventually announces the opening of international outreach centers for the sharing of Wakandan knowledge, and suggests that Wakanda will start giving aid to other nations. But Black Panther as globalist propaganda is far too facile an interpretation. Early on, a character denounces T’Challa for not admitting foreign refugees into Wakanda, yet there’s no indication by the film’s conclusion that T’Challa has relented on this point. A screenwriting oversight? Perhaps—or perhaps a subtly provocative unwillingness to flatter audience expectations. A T’Challa who exercises his royal prerogative to prioritize a Wakandan Wakanda over a fully internationalized Wakanda isn’t a character one expects from Hollywood, but it is a much more interesting one."

Other conservative critics have called the film "conservative" or "anti-radical", and the more excitable Breitbart types have apparently claimed that T'Challa is Trump -- which is ridiculous on a thousand levels. (T'Challa respects women, believes in international outreach, etc., etc.) Still, the film is surprisingly not as "woke" as the hype might lead you to think, and I think this complexity, and this relative *restraint* when it comes to the film's political themes, accounts for at least some of the film's success.

On some level I am reminded of the discussion around District 9, which came out nine years ago. Most North American takes on the film filtered it through the lens of apartheid, because when Americans think about South Africa, the only thing they know is apartheid (which came to an end a quarter-century ago). But when I described the plot to my father, who grew up in Africa (and was expelled from South Africa during his student days because he took part in anti-apartheid protests), he immediately intuited that the film was actually primarily about the African refugee crisis -- and sure enough, the film's director (a South African who now lives in Canada) confirmed in interviews that that was, in fact, what the film was about.

On a few occasions, the Wakandan characters tweak the one white American character (a CIA agent who is also a good guy) by calling him a "colonizer". The villain -- who also happens to be the only black American character in the film -- arguably seeks to colonize Wakanda in his own way, by putting American concerns (and other non-Wakandan concerns) first. I find this striking, because the film *itself* is essentially an American fantasy about Africa; the film *itself* is, or at least has the potential to be, a form of commercial and imaginative colonizing. So the villain is kind of doing what the film is doing -- but in a bad way, whereas the film is good (certainly in the eyes of those who made it, and also in the eyes of most of those watching it).

So that's another of the complexities that make this film more interesting than most other Marvel movies.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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On 2/28/2018 at 6:21 PM, Peter T Chattaway said:

On a few occasions, the Wakandan characters tweak the one white American character (a CIA agent who is also a good guy) by calling him a "colonizer". The villain -- who also happens to be the only black American character in the film -- arguably seeks to colonize Wakanda in his own way, by putting American concerns (and other non-Wakandan concerns) first. I find this striking, because the film *itself* is essentially an American fantasy about Africa; the film *itself* is, or at least has the potential to be, a form of commercial and imaginative colonizing. So the villain is kind of doing what the film is doing -- but in a bad way, whereas the film is good (certainly in the eyes of those who made it, and also in the eyes of most of those watching it).

In an academic paper I recently gave (and will hopefully be published in a peer-reviewed journal) on Black Panther and borders/alterity, I commented on how in the finale of the film, it is Africa sending aid to America by creating a Wakandan centre in Oakland. It is the colonized colonizing the colonizers:

Quote

Instead of America monetarily and militarily sending aid to Africa, it is Africa incarnationally sending aid to America. Yet the Wakandans are not invading with intent for cultural colonization, but bringing liberation by another means—a renewed vision of a self-defined black culture rooted in spirituality and traditions while embracing the future of technological and scientific advancement, a synthesis of cultural borders. In a post-credits scene, T’Challa tells the UN: “Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth; more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis, the wise build bridges, but the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe.” 

Regarding the refugees and whether or not T'Challa will allow them into Wakanda, I understood the post-credits UN speech as T'Challa proposing that Wakanda will open their borders to the world, to "build bridges not barriers" (a line which feels the most directly anti-Trumpian policy), suggesting a both/and regarding the borders--Wakanda will reach outside of their borders (e.g. Oakland centre) and allow people into their borders. It's fair to say that there aren't direct references to refugees here. Avengers: Infinity War doesn't really do much with any of this apart from place the CGI-punchfest battle in Wakanda, and wipe out all our favourite characters (for now).

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Joel Mayward wrote:
: Yet the Wakandans are not invading with intent for cultural colonization, but bringing liberation by another means—a renewed vision of a self-defined black culture . . .

See, this is one of the ways in which the film feels more "American" rather than "African" to me. Do Africans think of themselves as a single entity known as "black culture", or is that more a product of how black Americans see themselves (because, presumably, people who came to the U.S. from Africa in past centuries lost any connection to their native tribes and countries and blended together in a less-utopian version of the American "melting pot")? I think, for example, of how District 9 was inspired in part by black South Africans' negative attitudes towards Zimbabwean refugees. As Ronald Reagan once said of Latin America, you'd be surprised -- they're all individual countries over there.

: Regarding the refugees and whether or not T'Challa will allow them into Wakanda, I understood the post-credits UN speech as T'Challa proposing that Wakanda will open their borders to the world, to "build bridges not barriers" (a line which feels the most directly anti-Trumpian policy), suggesting a both/and regarding the borders--Wakanda will reach outside of their borders (e.g. Oakland centre) and allow people into their borders.

The film certainly *allows* the viewer to infer that. But it's telling that the film never spells that out -- and that Avengers: Infinity War reduces the whole border-opening thing to a line about Wakanda maybe getting a Starbucks. Perhaps this is how Marvel builds bridges to audience members who are open-border skeptics.

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47 minutes ago, Peter T Chattaway said:

: Regarding the refugees and whether or not T'Challa will allow them into Wakanda, I understood the post-credits UN speech as T'Challa proposing that Wakanda will open their borders to the world, to "build bridges not barriers" (a line which feels the most directly anti-Trumpian policy), suggesting a both/and regarding the borders--Wakanda will reach outside of their borders (e.g. Oakland centre) and allow people into their borders.

The film certainly *allows* the viewer to infer that. But it's telling that the film never spells that out -- and that Avengers: Infinity War reduces the whole border-opening thing to a line about Wakanda maybe getting a Starbucks. Perhaps this is how Marvel builds bridges to audience members who are open-border skeptics.

2

The climax or Avengers: Infinity War is about whether or not a horde of invading aliens can breach the wall around Wakanda, thus destroying their way of life. And doesn't T'Challa order them to open the perimeter (open borders!) so that the aliens will not circle around behind them and attack the non-Wakandan they are operating on? 

Or is that too clever by half?

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1 hour ago, Peter T Chattaway said:

See, this is one of the ways in which the film feels more "American" rather than "African" to me. Do Africans think of themselves as a single entity known as "black culture", or is that more a product of how black Americans see themselves (because, presumably, people who came to the U.S. from Africa in past centuries lost any connection to their native tribes and countries and blended together in a less-utopian version of the American "melting pot")? I think, for example, of how District 9 was inspired in part by black South Africans' negative attitudes towards Zimbabwean refugees. As Ronald Reagan once said of Latin America, you'd be surprised -- they're all individual countries over there.

I mean, it is an American film from an American filmmaker wrestling both on- and off-screen with the identity of "blackness" which bridges America and Africa. In my bringing up the language of a "black culture" here, perhaps it's unclear out of context of the rest of the paper, which is considering racial identity, the myth of white supremacy in modern Western culture, and how Black Panther is not only about race but also about foreign policy. So, I'm not flattening all non-Euro distinct cultures into one, or at least that's not my intent; I'm very aware of distinctions, and I think the filmmakers in Black Panther are too.

44 minutes ago, kenmorefield said:

The climax or Avengers: Infinity War is about whether or not a horde of invading aliens can breach the wall around Wakanda, thus destroying their way of life. And doesn't T'Challa order them to open the perimeter (open borders!) so that the aliens will not circle around behind them and attack the non-Wakandan they are operating on? 

Or is that too clever by half?

Yeah, how T'Challa goes about decision-making is problematic and inconsistent with the character he was in Black Panther. This is one of my biggest frustrations with Infinity War, in that it essentially ignores thematic devices and questions raised in the other films, not to mention aesthetic/formal approaches (for another example, how the Guardians are treated in this film as opposed to Gunn's approach). Perhaps this is too strong of a critique, but it feels like the Russos co-opt the subversive parabolic mythos of Wakanda and re-establish it (or "colonize" it) for the MCU mythos/machine.

Fun note: And with this post, I've finally reached 1000 posts at A&F after over eight years of membership.

Edited by Joel Mayward

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7 hours ago, Joel Mayward said:

Fun note: And with this post, I've finally reached 1000 posts at A&F after over eight years of membership.

 

#13 with a bullet! (Just imagine how many posts you would have if you could post stuff like..."#13 with a bullet!")

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Joel Mayward wrote:
: I mean, it is an American film from an American filmmaker wrestling both on- and off-screen with the identity of "blackness" which bridges America and Africa. In my bringing up the language of a "black culture" here, perhaps it's unclear out of context of the rest of the paper, which is considering racial identity, the myth of white supremacy in modern Western culture, and how Black Panther is not only about race but also about foreign policy. So, I'm not flattening all non-Euro distinct cultures into one, or at least that's not my intent; I'm very aware of distinctions, and I think the filmmakers in Black Panther are too.

Certainly Black Panther does a marvelous job of depicting cultural diversity *within* Wakanda (which, itself, makes the risk of letting in outsiders all the greater; Wakanda isn't just a single culture letting in other cultures, but a carefully balanced *group* of cultures that have created elaborate rituals to maintain their balance -- what happens if they start letting in other cultures that are not part of the ritual, or the balance, etc.?).

I guess my concern about this "black culture" talk is that it invites parallel considerations of "white culture" -- and I resist the latter, at least. I am half-British and half-Mennonite (and each of my halves are a melting pot of things in their own right!), but I am definitely not French or Italian or Norwegian or any of the other European ethnicities that sometimes get lumped together as "white". And I wonder what it would mean to talk about, say, an identity of "whiteness" that bridges America and Europe.

: Yeah, how T'Challa goes about decision-making is problematic and inconsistent with the character he was in Black Panther. This is one of my biggest frustrations with Infinity War, in that it essentially ignores thematic devices and questions raised in the other films, not to mention aesthetic/formal approaches (for another example, how the Guardians are treated in this film as opposed to Gunn's approach). Perhaps this is too strong of a critique, but it feels like the Russos co-opt the subversive parabolic mythos of Wakanda and re-establish it (or "colonize" it) for the MCU mythos/machine.

In fairness, the Russo brothers *introduced* Black Panther, in Captain America: Civil War. He was their character before he was Ryan Coogler's. But yeah, I was not happy with how the Russos handled the Guardians either. Didn't quite feel like the same characters we'd seen in the James Gunn films.

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