‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ director names a raft of 1990s action classics as unlikely influences

black panther wakanda forever
via Marvel Studios

As a superhero sequel set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is obligated to tick a number of boxes as required by the parameters of the franchise. What we weren’t expecting to hear, though, was director Ryan Coogler naming a number of classic 1990s action blockbusters as influences and inspirations.

Having already compared Tenoch Huerta’s Namor to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day protagonist, the filmmaker went one step further during an interview with The Wrap, where he rattled off some of the best title one of the action genre’s greatest decades had to offer as visual, storytelling, and thematic touchstones.

During his chat with the outlet, Coogler name-dropped James Cameron’s The Abyss (which released in the summer of 1989, we know), as well as Steven Spielberg’s seminal Jurassic Park, and Andrew Davis’ relentless Best Picture nominee The Fugitive, all of which he described as “very tactile movies that felt like fantastical, but at the same time, you believed it the whole time it was happening.”

Even Robert Zemeckis’ overlooked Contact gets a mention, which we definitely didn’t see coming, with Coogler praising the film for being a “big science fiction movie” that was also “crazy intimate”. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever finally hits theaters tomorrow, so if you ever wanted to know what a comic book adaptation taking cues from Jurassic Park, The Fugitive, Terminator 2, and even more besides looks like, then there isn’t long left until you get the chance to find out for yourself.