Marvel took over Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con and brought the crowd to its feet during the Black Panther portion of their panel. Attendees were excited to see concept art for Captain Marvel, and brief footage from the upcoming Ant-Man, even the Thor: Ragnarok trailer amped up the excitement. But no other panel matched the extreme enthusiasm for the Black Panther footage that was shown and the overall energy of the panel itself.
Moderator Chris Hardwick welcomed Black Panther director Ryan Coogler and the cast including Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Forest Whitaker, Daniel Kaluuya, Andy Sirkis, Winston Duke, and Letitia Wright to the stage. Hardwick brought up the fact that he ran into Boseman after Captain America: Civil War and asked him about the possibility of a Black Panther movie. At the time Boseman wasn’t able to say anything, but a week later the movie was announced. Boseman sheepishly apologized to Hardwick from the stage and talked about how “amazing” the process has been to get the project off of the ground while also talking about the relief of not having to keep the secret any longer.
Speaking at the Marvel panel at Comic-Con, Coogler said that, “bringing this comic book to life means everything to me. I wanted to find a comic book with a hero that looked like me.” Coogler also said, “The best thing about the comic book was that T’Chala got his power from the people around him, and where I come from, that’s how we live.” It was revealed that Black Panther takes place after the events in Civil War and it focuses on Black Panther “learning to be a true king.” Boseman said, “He’s returning from the events of Civil War. He lost his father. He’s just learning how to deal with becoming a new ruler and he’s still mourning his father’s death. It’s a transition period that gets interrupted very quickly.” Nyong’o says that her character Nakia is a spy (war dog) who goes undercover overseas and reports back to Wakanda. Duke says that his character M’Baku is the leader of the Jabari tribe. His loyalty to his people apparently drives his rage in the movie.
Serkis, who plays the villain Ulysses Klaue, mentioned that he will indeed get his arm back. One of the bigger reveals came when it was said that Erik Killmonger will receive his own Black Panther suit with gold. Jordan said that, “I feel like Erik has his own points of view on Wakanda and how it should be ruled. He has his eyes on the throne, so he’s doing whatever it takes to kind of make them a reality” when talking about the villainous Killmonger.
The panel then went on to show an extended trailer for Black Panther that resulted in the crowd giving the cast and Coogler a standing ovation. The cast was visibly taken aback by the ovation. The new footage of Black Panther was set to rapper Kendrick Lamar’s hit single “DNA” and it clearly added to the intense footage that did not leave one second to breathe. Don’t worry, the wait is almost over… Black Panther hits theaters on February 16th, 2018.