Film is an art. It is also a business. Studios don’t go ahead and make films because it is ‘oh so awesome and we can’t live without it’ with no thoughts of making money off it — also, businesses need to make profit. In the wake of Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, and a onslaught of comic book films slated for the future, Black Panther seems its on its way to introduce us to a new Disney era, and make its stamp in history in the process.
Having already broken Marvel films ticket sales records, Black Panther is still generating a lot of hype. A record previously held by Captain America: Civil War was smashed as pre-sales were sold out quicker in 24 hours than any other Marvel film. This is only the beginning for Disney as we know their films are just a piece of the puzzle in their business model. The films are essentially 2 hour long advertisements for Disney’s theme parks, toys, video games and any other merchandise you can think of.
The services of Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) have been requested on this project and it is already looking gorgeous from what we can see. Ryan Coogler’s films have always been hard hitting and memorable. He and cinematographer Rachel Morrison from Fruitvale Station have been reunited on this project. Her work on Fruitvale Station, Rick Famuyiwa’s Dope and Netflix’s Mudbound can be described as one of the more honest, beautiful cinematography in recent times. Although Black Panther seems pretty next level for this duo, their pedigree in finessing their craft should see them through.
The cast for this film is immense with a lot of names people already know and love. Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Forest Whitaker, … the list is basically endless. Actors who have proven themselves in large scale, award winning, critically acclaimed projects are united in this one. Almost every scene is going to be a feast.
It seems almost inevitable to talk about Black Panther without talking about race. This is a film for black people by black people. Since Meteor Man, the Blade trilogy and Hancock, there haven’t been too many black superhero films. And no, we are never ever talking about Halle Berry’s Catwoman. No. Just never.
Black Panther already has people like Frederick Joseph rallying and raising money to help kids in a Harlem community go see the film upon its release. The GoFundMe surpassed its goal and this new era of representation in film and modern media is taking off. Superhero films and TV shows will be around for a while and the introduction of Black Panther into the fray is only a pointer of things to come with a greater percentage of representation for black people in blockbusters. Many young kids will have a new mainstream hero to look up to, original fans of the character (including Stan Lee) will be excited he’s finally made it to the big screen.
Disney will make bank with all the ticket sales and the upcoming merchandise they will dish out for the film. The cast and crew will continue to seemingly surpass their previous projects and take it to the next level. Fans can rejoice the world over because even if it sucks by any random tiny chance, we’re going to defend it vehemently like our lives depended on it.