“Tell me something – what do you know about Wakanda?”
If there’s one thing that separates Black Panther from the superhero pack, it’s Wakanda. Described as the modern-day El Dorado, the fictional utopia is the lifeblood of Ryan Coogler’s solo movie, and part of the reason why Wesley Snipes (Blade) was forced to abandon his own big-screen version of T’Challa.
Put simply, the visuals effects of the time simply weren’t up to the task of creating a rich, far-future realm like Wakanda, which is arguably the biggest secret of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Isolated from the rest of the world, T’Challa and his family were living in harmony right up until his father’s death in Civil War, and it’s the loss of T’Chaka that seeds “political unrest” in the home of the Black Panther.
As for how Wakanda has remained hidden this whole time, Marvel producer Nate Moore spoke to ComicBook.com about the ultra-futuristic haven:
If you think about the way the world works, whenever any country has something of value, it tends to draw a lot of eyes. It tends to draw you into conflict, frankly. I think Wakanda saw, very early on, that if people knew that they had vibranium, which they do, they were going to be conquered. Or at least at war forever. So, they did the smart thing.
However, trouble is afoot, as the malevolent Erik Killmonger threatens to seize control of the Wakandan crown. Leave it to T’Challa, then, to restore peace and prosperity to his long-time home, one Moore considers to be a wonderful movie setting.
They hid that fact, so nobody knows that they have the stuff. That’s why they’ve been able to have these advancements, because they don’t spend money on war. They don’t spend money defending themselves constantly. They just spend money on infrastructure, which again, that will feel topical without being overt, but just that idea.
Oh yeah, what happens when you’re not 24/7 trying to fend off the rest of the world? By hiding in plain sight, and being what people think of as a small African nation. Poor, farmers, shepherds, textiles. People leave them alone, and that’s allowed them to build something amazing.
It won’t be a secret for much longer, of course, as Black Panther is only two weeks away from its theatrical debut here in the States. And we’ll be bringing you all the coverage as T’Challa begins to stake a claim for the box office throne, so stay tuned for more.