In order to keep things fresh, the movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are often envisioned as superhero twists on other genres. For instance, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was influenced by 1970s political thrillers and Spider-Man: Homecoming was inspired by John Hughes high school films. Now, it turns out that the upcoming Black Panther has another unlikely point of reference: James Bond movies.
Director Ryan Coogler was talking to Total Film recently and spoke about how Marvel Studios execs saw the character of Black Panther as being their cinematic universe’s counterpart to the legendary British secret agent. In response, Coogler went back and watched his favourite Bond flicks in order to capture that action/adventure tone.
“When I first started talking to Marvel, one thing they were interested in was for Panther to be their version of James Bond, which I thought was incredibly interesting and exciting. It was a really outside-of-the-box way to look at T’Challa. There are some Bond films that I really, really like, and it gave me the opportunity to go watch some other ones.”
What’s interesting is that this isn’t the first time we’ve heard of a connection between Bond and Black Panther. Letitia Wright, who plays T’Challa’s sister Shuri, likened her character to Bond’s gadget man Q, as she’s responsible for suiting her brother up with all the latest gizmos and upgrades to his armour.
“Yeah, why not? She’s T’Challa’s Q. She’s by his side with the technology he needs. The way she helps him is really cool,” says the actress.
With that in mind, we can definitely start to see how Black Panther could cut a Bondian figure. He’s got the gadgets, he’s got the action hero credentials and he’s got the colourful rogues gallery, too. Chadwick Boseman’s king will face off against an evil alliance of Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger and Andy Serkis’ Ulysses Klaw over the course of the movie. Not to mention he’ll be dealing with a love interest, as well. Namely, Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia.
Black Panther is set to arrive in theaters on February 16th.