Black Panther: Interview with Ryan Coogler, Michael Jordan, Chadwick Boseman

Black Panther, Disney

Panel: Ryan Coogler, Chadwick Boseman, Michael Jordan, Forrest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, Kevin Feige

Comic-Con | Hall H, San Diego, July 22, 2017

Chadwick Boseman You know it’s amazing, we talked about this from the beginning. I couldn’t talk about it and it was a big secret so it was just good to be able to share at least the pieces with everyone as it goes on. And it’s beautiful to see how excited people are about it. Did you get a chance to see the trailer for Black Panther?

Question:: T’Challa and Black Panther

Chadwick Bosema: Well he’s returning from the events in Civil War, so you know he’s lost his father. So he’s just learning how to deal with becoming the new ruler. He’s still mourning his father’s death. It’s a transition period that gets interrupted very quickly.

And as he’s kinda struggling to figure out what kind of king he wants to be.

Question: We were here last year, and it was still very new and fresh. This comic in particular was really close to you and really important. Can you talk about a little about your history with the comic and how you brought it onto the screen?

Ryan Coogler: First I would just like to say how great it is to be back here in LA. Every time I come back it’s become more and more special than my first time. As I shared with you last time I was all the way in the back seat. And being up here now with you guys is insane. This comic book in particular is about bringing this to life–it means everything to me.

I grew up as a young black kid in the Bay area, loving comic books. It didn’t matter what color the comic book character was. I would follow X and I would follow Spiderman.

But I remember as I got older, I wanted to find a comic book character who looked like me. I would try to ask if they had any, you and the first one that the comic book owner took me over to see was Black Panther. Falling in love with the character back then. To bring it to life is just amazing—amazing studio, amazing filmmaker. With these incredible actors and to be here in Comicon to share with you guys is amazing.

Question: What particularly in the comic was important?

Ryan Coogler: I though that the best thing about the comic book was that the T’Challa was somebody who got his power from the people around him and from his history. History is something that’s incredibly important to me and my family. The people that I grew up with–the importance of African culture. My own folks, that’s really the cool thing I’m excited to bring.

Question: Letitia, what can you say about Shuri?

Letitia Wright: Shuri is T’Challa’s younger sister and she is like the technological like wiz of Wakanda. She designs all the new technology, she’s a scientist. She was like a dream role to play, inspirational, innovative, a strong black woman, and smart.

Question: Danai who, I feel like you because you have so much weapons training from Walking Dead. But did this feel like it had an even more intense process?

Danai Gurira: It definitely was a new process and it was awesome.

We would be in the room together like working. And we’d be in different corners or together, doing drills, learning new stuff, new lines. She works with a whole different weapon. And there are some overlaps, but not a lot.

It was actually a whole new process which was awesome. What I love about her is that it’s all connected to the fact that this woman is driven by a love for her nation and her people. The beauty of Wakanda is that it is this place that is the most successful, most advanced nation on Earth and it’s on the continent! It gets me excited right now, I just love that this movie. I love that about this story. The fact that she is really protecting that and that’s what drives her weaponry, that what drives what she does as a warrior. It’s all driven by love of her people and what her forefathers and fore mothers.

Question: Michael as Erik?

Michael B. Jord: I feel like Erik has his own opinions and his own point of view on Wakanda and how it should be ruled.  He has his eyes on the throne, so I think he’s trying to do whatever it takes to accommodate that reality.

Question: Forest Whitaker as Zuri and being mentor to T’Challa?

Forest Whitaker: He’s been working as the spiritual leader and he was very close friends with his father. He has been working with him since he was a child, and tried to give him advice that would hopefully mold him into being king. He has a relationship with T’Challa.

Question:  Get Out was a game changer for me. You did such a brilliant job in redefining the genre and making something original and beautiful.

Daniel Kaluuya: The thing about W’Kabi is like friendly, we’re like childhood friends. He’s part of the border tribe and he’s the head of security. So anything that comes in and out, so he sees kinda what’s coming in from Wakanda, what’s trying to come in and he stops it. he’s a very hidden figure.

Lupita as Nakia

Lupita N’Yongo: Nakia is a spy, and she goes undercover to the rest of the world and she reports back to Wakanda about the goings on. Wakanda is this isolated nation and it keeps to itself. And in order to keep safe it has send people like Nakia out there. Known as war dogs to keep Wakanda on top of things. Wakanda needs to know what’s going on around the world, the world does not need to what’s going on in Wakanda.