Have you seen Black Panther yet?
If you haven’t, there’s good news! Black Panther arrives on Blu-ray & 4K on May 15, 2018! I received a press copy of Black Panther in exchange for this post.
Read on to learn facts about Black Panther, quotes about the Women of Wakanda and an interview with Ruth E. Carter, costume designer for Black Panther. Plus download your Black Panther Bingo Card to play while you watch the film.
Grossing over 1 Billion at the Box Office (at the time of writing this), Black Panther has made movie and Marvel history.
It’s story, cinematography, everything makes Black Panther a must see film.
Black Panther is available for digital download, and on Blu-Ray on May 15, 2018.
The release is full of epic bonus features you won’t want to miss, especially if you didn’t catch the film in theaters.
Black Panther BONUS MATERIAL (may vary by retailer):
- Director’s Intro
- From Page to Screen: A Roundtable Discussion – Delve into the film’s making
- Crowning of a New King – Explore the world of “Black Panther” in all its color and complexity
- The Warriors Within – Get to know Wakanda’s women and the actors who portray them
- The Hidden Kingdom Revealed – Wakanda’s diverse people
- Wakanda Revealed: Exploring the Technology
- Deleted Scenes
- U.N. Meet and Greet
- Okoye And W’Kabi Discuss the Future of Wakanda
- T’Challa Remembers His Father
- Voices from the Past
- Gag Reel
- Exclusive Sneak Peek at “Ant-Man and The Wasp”
- Marvel Studios the First Ten Years: Connecting the Universe
- Director’s Commentary
o In World Wakanda Tourism Ads
- Come to Wakanda “Before”
- Come to Wakanda “After”
Fun Facts about Black Panther
10 THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT MARVEL STUDIOS’ BLACK PANTHER
To celebrate the in-home release of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, don’t miss these 10 stellar secrets from the making of the epic super hero saga. You love learning these 10 things about the film.
SUPER HERO SECRET #1
THE COMIC BOOKS WERE A HUGE INSPIRATION FOR THE FILMMAKERS
When it comes to the inspiration behind the story of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, director and co-writer Ryan Coogler admits that he delved deep into the history of the acclaimed Marvel comic book series. “We pulled from all of the comics,” Coogler explains. “When you watch our film, you will probably see something from every writer that has touched T’Challa’s character in the Black Panther comics. Everything from Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s initial runs through to Don McGregor, Christopher Priest, Jonathan Hickman and Brian Stelfreeze. We grabbed from it all. Each writer left their own mark, so Agent Ross [played by Martin Freeman in the movie] came from Christopher Priest’s run and the character of Shuri came from Reginald Hudlin’s run. Each run left something for us to pull from, but we pulled from absolutely all of them.”
SUPERHERO SECRET #2
THE ATTENTION TO DETAIL ON SET WAS MIND-BLOWING FOR THE ACTORS
“It was incredible to walk on to the Wakandan sets,” enthuses Danai Gurira, who plays Okoye in the movie. “Our production designer, Hannah Beachler, was amazing. I remember walking into the Tribal Council room and thinking, ‘This room is stunning.’ The floors were see-through. There were massive, beautiful panther statues. The throne was very African. The entire décor was very African. It was an amazing experience, which was very rich for my character because I stood there and I thought, ‘This is like nothing else on the planet and it’s my character’s job to protect it.’ Hannah pulled from lots of awesome traditional African esthetics. You don’t get to see it in the movie, but she also designed T’Challa’s office, which was another amazing room on set. We shot some scenes in there, which were left out of the movie – but the office was constructed and it looked amazing.”
SUPER HERO SECRET #3
THE PRODUCTION TEAM TOOK A TRIP TO SOUTH AFRICA TO RESEARCH THE MOVIE
“We took a really important trip to South Africa to do a ton of research for Black Panther,” reveals production designer Hannah Beachler. “We went up and down the country, which helped immensely when we started to create the sets. It was incredible to see all the colors, the textiles and the way things were built. In the end, we shot a lot of plates and second unit footage in South Africa. We shot footage in Uganda, which was used to show the farm land and open space of Wakanda. It was beautiful. We also shot at Victoria Falls in Zambia. When the fighters come flying through the falls and get to the challenge pool; that flight through the falls is Victoria Falls. But when you get to the challenge pool, what you see behind them is a bit of Iguazu Falls, which is in South America. We smashed the two together because we wanted a horizon.”
SUPER HERO SECRET #4
SEBASTIAN STAN WAS ONLY ON THE BLACK PANTHER SET FOR ONE DAY
“The tag scene with Bucky [played by Sebastian Stan] at the end of the movie came as a wonderful surprise to me,” explains Letitia Wright, who plays Shuri in Black Panther. “I was so happy when I read about it. Props to Ryan [Coogler] for adding it to the movie. This scene was shot quite late in the production, but I really enjoyed it. It was a beautiful day on set and I thought it was a great way for us to find out where Bucky had been hiding in Wakanda. We shot the scene in a forest area somewhere in Atlanta, but it only took a day. Sebastian was really great to work with. He’s a good chap.”
SUPER HERO SECRET #5
THE IN-HOME RELEASE IS PACKED WITH DELETED SCENES AND OUTTAKES
Marvel fans can delve deeper into the wondrous world of Wakanda with the exclusive bonus features packaged with the in-home release of the movie. Not only are there behind-the-scenes featurettes and never-before-seen outtakes, but there are also a number of deleted scenes. “There are a couple of scenes with Okoye and W’Kabi [played by Daniel Kaluuya] that I would love people to see,” explains Danai Gurira. “There’s a scene between Okoye and W’Kabi, which takes place after Killmonger tells us what he’s going to do with the kingdom. Okoye is very disturbed by her man seeming to positively respond to Killmonger. There’s also a scene where W’Kabi and Okoye go head-to-head. Okoye pushes W’Kabi to a place where all the rage he had towards T’Challa comes out. I hope some of those moments end up in the deleted scenes.”
SUPER HERO SECRET #6
LUPITA NYONG’O HAD TO LEARN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES FOR THE MOVIE
“The African language that we speak in the movie is Xhosa, which is a Bantu language from South Africa,” reveals Lupita Nyong’o, who plays Nakia in Black Panther. “It has the clicks which my native tongue does not have, so I had to learn it for the movie. I worked very closely with a dialect coach to get it right. I also speak Korean in the film, which was a doozy. A week before we shot the scenes in South Korea, they finalized exactly what Nakia was going to say, so all week I kept practicing the lines over and over again. However, I slipped up from time to time. At one point, the Korean extras laughed because they told me I’d said something about a barbecue by mistake – but we got there in the end.”
SUPER HERO SECRET #7
LETITIA WRIGHT DISCOVERED SHE’D WON HER ROLE IN A RATHER UNUSUAL PLACE
“The audition process was really interesting,” admits Letitia Wright. “I sent over two tapes from London and I didn’t think anything would happen – but then I got a call asking me to fly out to Los Angeles for a screen test. That’s where I met Ryan [Coogler] and Chadwick [Boseman, who plays T’Challa]. Thankfully, we had an immediate connection. I went home and I didn’t hear anything for a couple of weeks – but then I was called back for another screen test. This time, I flew to Atlanta and they put braids in my hair – and I knew I just had to have fun with the audition. I remember thinking, ‘Man, if this happens, it will be very special for me.’ A couple of weeks later, I found out they wanted me for the role of Shuri. I was standing at a bus stop in London when the call came through. I went crazy! I was screaming at the bus stop! I was overjoyed to be part of this epic movie.”
SUPER HERO SECRET #8
CAST MEMBERS HAD TO TACKLE A GRUELING SIX-WEEK BOOT CAMP
Before the cameras started to roll on Black Panther, cast members flew out to Atlanta to prepare for the movie’s awe-inspiring action sequences. “The boot camp lasted six weeks,” reveals Danai Gurira. “It was really helpful to get athletically conditioned for the film shoot, although we also got into the specifics of the movements of our characters. We learned fight choreography, as well as different techniques of how our character was going to move on set. It was intense, but I learned a lot. Okoye is the general of the army and the head of the Dora Milaje, so the way she fights is very traditional. Her movement with the war spear comes from very ancient movements of the nation. It was really interesting to learn.”
SUPER HERO SECRET #9
THERE WERE RAP BATTLES BETWEEN THE ACTORS ON SET
An exclusive gag reel has been created for the in-home release, which is packed with comedy bloopers and slapstick slip-ups from the set of the movie. “There were a lot of funny moments during the filming of Black Panther,” recalls Letitia Wright. “Even though the shoot was a lot of hard work and there were some incredibly physical scenes, we always found moments to have fun. We had rap battles in between takes, or we organized dinners and bowling sessions. There was a day where we did a Get Out challenge, because we had [Get Out star] Daniel Kaluuya working with us. Who won the rap battles? To be perfectly honest, I think I was the best. I was up against a lot of people, but their rapping skills were terrible.”
SUPER HERO SECRET #10
LOOK CLOSELY AT THE MOVIE’S KIMOYO BEADS FOR HIDDEN QUALITIES
Hannah Beachler admits she had a ton of fun working on the high-tech gadgets for the movie. “The Kimoyo beads are my favorite,” the production designer admits. “I really pushed the design on them because I knew the beads needed to be something really cool. The Kimoyo beads were originally introduced in the Black Panther comics – but Ryan [Coogler] loved the idea of using them for communicating in the movie. If you look closely at the beads, you’ll see there’s a prime bead, which is given to you when you’re born in Wakanda. There is a little peak on the prime bead, which makes it stand out from the others. All the beads’ symbols light up, but the prime bead lights up completely. A Nigerian language – nsibidi – is used for the symbols on the beads. You’ll also see nsibidi writing on columns of some of the iconic buildings in Wakanda, too.”
Women of Wakanda
One of the exclusive bonus features on the Black Panther home release is The Warriors Within. Keep reading if you want to get to know Wakanda’s women and the amazing actors who portray them…
LUPITA NYONG’O [NAKIA]
“I love the way Black Panther represents women. Each and every one of us [in the movie] is an individual. We all have our own sense of power and we hold our own space without being pitted against each other. I think that’s a very, very powerful message to send to children – both male and female.
“In Black Panther, we see women going about their business and supporting each other. They argue with each other and have different points of view, but they are not pitted against each other and I think that’s extremely important. In doing this, audiences can get a sense of the fabric of Wakanda as a nation, where we see women alongside men and we see how much more effective a society can be if they allow women to explore their full potential.
“Cinema has the potential to show us who we’ve been, who we are, and who we could be – and Wakanda is an example of who we could be. This is a nation that has been allowed to self-determine because it has avoided the interruption that colonialism was; that assault on a culture and the imposition of a new culture on another. It has figured out how to develop on its own terms. And with that development, it seems they have figured out how to allow their citizens to realize their fullest potential, which means that women can hold their power and not compromise or jeopardize the man’s power. In Wakanda, a woman can assume her own power – but she can also stand with and in support of the man at her side.
“We can see that with the character of Black Panther, who is this all-powerful, vibranium-wearing guy who has Okoye [played by Danai Gurira] by his side. He also has a confidant in my character, Nakia. She’s someone that he can listen to and consider on a level plain. I think that’s really cool to see. I love the way that you get to see it unapologetic and unexplained; it’s just the way it is in a country you’ve never visited before. I feel like this gives you a glimpse as to what is possible in the real world.”
DANAI GURIRA [OKOYE]
“When [Black Panther director and co-writer] Ryan Coogler sat me down and talked to me about his vision for the movie, the story, the characters – and the women – I was floored because you don’t get to hear stories like this very often. It’s not often that you sit down and hear that type of a vision. It was amazing.
“There are so many great things I could say about how Ryan developed the women characters in the movie. I feel really blessed and excited by the fact he allowed us to collaborate, too. I love the fact that these women from the continent are very developed and very complex. I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is something else. I just want to watch it, but now I also get to be in it.’
“I was immediately drawn to the idea of the Dora Milaje [an all-female, special forces security team]. I loved the concept of them, but it was incredible to see them come to life [during pre-production]. I started to train with all these astounding women and then we all started to get our heads shaved for the movie. I was the first to have it done, but then all the girls started coming in with no hair. One-by-one, we’d all been balded – but we were united together. That’s when our pride started to grow. We all started to embrace this symbol of power in these women.
“I love the moment in the movie where Okoye doesn’t want a wig. She doesn’t want to cover up her head. This is her joy and her pride, so she wants to walk in there with her bald head and that tattoo. I thought that moment was so subversive. It’s so subversive in the right way to say that you don’t have to have hair to be beautiful.”
LETITIA WRIGHT [SHURI]
“I think it’s great to see so many strong women in Black Panther because there’s a lack of them in cinema right now; especially black female characters. All these female characters in the movie are really well rounded, too. They are not just written one way. The women have a lot of complexity. It was really refreshing to see and it’s inspiring to be part of it, because it means a lot to me.
“I also love the way that the men are always behind the women in Wakanda. Nobody is undermined by the other sex. The men don’t stand around and say, ‘Shuri, you shouldn’t be into technology and math.’ They’re like, ‘No, go ahead.’ T’Challa says, ‘Go ahead, Sis. This is your department. This is your domain. Do your thing. Stay in your lane.’ I love that that’s the mentality of the king. It’s brilliant. Everybody’s got their own lane.
“I love what Marvel has done with this movie. They are saying that women are just as great as the men. It’s not one or the other. There’s a dope balance.”
FOREST WHITAKER [ZURI]
“I love the fact that there are many different types of strong women in the movie. Not only are there these amazing women warriors who show the world that women are powerful – but they have a warrior spirit to conquer, as well as the ability to find the tools and strength to navigate and win.
“The power of motherhood is displayed by Angela Bassett’s character [Ramonda] and the way she nurtures her children. She moves her son and daughter forward, and she’s willing to do anything to make sure they are well and right.
“Then there’s Shuri, who shows everyone the technology of this world. She illustrates the fact that women can be adept with technology and math; the movie recognizes that attribute inside of women. These are very powerful statements to the world.”
MICHAEL B. JORDAN [ERIK KILLMONGER]
“In Wakanda, the matriarchs are the backbone and the foundation on which the country is built on, and the men lean on their women for guidance and strength. I think it’s extremely important for little girls and women out there to see themselves represented in a positive, strong way in film and television – and I think Wakanda does it really well. I think Black Panther is amazing in that respect.
“There are a lot of strong female characters in this movie. The fiercest warriors are all women. The king’s private guard – the Dora Milaje – are all women. That was something that [director and co-writer] Ryan Coogler and [co-writer] Joe Robert Cole wanted to depict in the story.
“In African culture, the women are the backbone of society and they have such a positive influence on everyone. To not put a strong representation of that into the film would be a crime because we wanted to stay true to reality.
“We have some very talented black women in this film, with Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira and Angela Bassett. It was incredible to work alongside them – although I think the character of Shuri [played by Letitia Wright] is my absolute favorite in the movie. I think Shuri is amazing. She’s incredibly smart and witty, and her one-liners are awesome.”
DIRECTOR AND CO-WRITER RYAN COOGLER
“When you look at African culture, you’ll often see gender roles that are different from the norm. You’ll find issues with gender dynamics in African culture in the same way you do in other cultures, but you’ll also find things that are different. Strong women and women’s influence on culture and society is something that cannot be overlooked. That was something that we really wanted to include in the movie, although it’s something that was present in the Black Panther comics as well.
“T’Challa’s mother, Ramonda, is a constant influence on his world. And T’Challa’s relationship with his sister is one of the more unique relationships in comic book films and action films. It was something that we looked at because there’s no super hero with a little sister – but Shuri is possibly the most important relationship in his life. That was something that we really wanted to explore. And then you have the Dora Milaje, who are these elite warriors in the country and it’s all women.
“This film had involvement from brilliant women from start to finish. They weren’t hired because they were women; they were hired because they were the best people for the job. That includes our cinematographer, Rachel Morrison; our costume designer, Ruth Carter; our production designer, Hannah Beachler; and our assistant director, Lisa Satriano. In post-production, the film was edited by Michael Shawver and Debbie Berman, who is from South Africa. I was blessed to work alongside these incredible women and to have their perspective and their fingerprints all over the project.”
Interview with costume designer Ruth E. Carter uncovering her inspirations behind the iconic outfits of Black Panther
BLACK PANTHER: THE PALACE OUTFIT
“T’Challa is part of the royal family of Wakanda. He has royal blood and he is inheriting the throne from his father, so he has a huge responsibility on his shoulders. That’s why his outfits always have a tailored feel and a sense of royalty. The embroidery on his palace piece was taken from some Nigerian embroidered tops we discovered. When you look at T’Challa versus Killmonger, T’Challa is the guy who went to private school and Killmonger is the guy who went to public school. That’s how I look at the two characters. They are worlds apart from each other.
“On the astral plane, T’Challa wakes up to greet his father and their ancestors in a white embroidered tunic. All the embroidery patterns were taken from various cultures around the world. I’ve had people from Pakistan look at the embroidered pattern on the white tunic and say, ‘Wow, this looks exactly like the embroidery in our culture.’ In that sense, I feel like the dream sequence is one that most people were thrilled to see because it relates to so many beautiful embroidered patterns in different cultures. It represents royalty that you find all over the world.
“Most of T’Challa’s costumes have some form of cultural significance to them. The purple vest that he wears has a little Nsibidi language on the vest. We painstakingly chose the embroidery pattern with help from [Black Panther director] Ryan Coogler.”
BLACK PANTHER: THE SUPERHERO COSTUME
“Marvel’s design group – who work on all the superheroes – sent us a sketch for Black Panther’s superhero costume. That’s what we used to create our piece. The superhero costume is made from eurojersey, which has a four-way stretch. The fabric comes to us in white, so we have to completely dye it black and then we print on top of it – but the ink of the print also has the ability to stretch.
“Nowadays, every superhero suit seems to have a small pattern that creates a texture on their suit, so I was excited that there was an opportunity for me to include a surface treatment to Black Panther’s suit. Within the design, you can see some veining of a Wakandan language that circles around the suit – but I put a small triangle in between the line-work. I call it the Okavango pattern. The Okavango print, in combination with the veining, helps the piece feel like the roller prints you see in so many African patterns and printed fabric. Now, he’s not only a superhero, but he’s also an African king.
“The costume is actually a true catsuit. There are separate gloves and boots, but the suit itself is a catsuit that Chadwick [Boseman] wears. There is a silver muscle suit that goes underneath it, which makes it look like you can see the vibranium shining through. That’s why we made the muscle suit in silver. After viewing the Man of Steel, I saw that you could see the steel suit underneath his superhero costume, so the muscles look like they are made of steel. I thought to myself, ‘Well, Black Panther’s main suit is made of vibranium, so let’s do that.’ There’s a hidden zipper that goes straight up the back of the costume. You put it on just like you would put on a pair of pantyhose. You’ve got to move it up and wriggle into it. We also added a zipper to give Chadwick the ability to go to the bathroom.”
SHURI: THE SILVER DRESS
“When we first meet Shuri in the movie, we learn that she is bored with tradition. She designs the new Black Panther suit and she’s the head of the Wakandan Design Group, so I knew it was important that we really try and think outside the box for the character. Not only did we need to think outside the box in terms of what Marvel was doing with nanotech and vibranium, but we also needed to contextualize what it meant and what it looked like to be forward-thinking.
“When we see Shuri at the airstrip, she talks to her brother and he teases her about having to wear a traditional costume at Warrior Falls. Then, when we see her at Warrior Falls, she says, “Can you hurry up, people? This is very uncomfortable.” I feel like that [dialogue] allows audiences to understand the character. She’s saying, ‘I know I am a princess and I know there’s a place for tradition, but I’m moving on from that.’ She also tells that to everyone when we first meet her in the lab, too.
“All these costume sketches give a general direction and a feeling for the characters. With Shuri, we wanted to show designs that feel young and vibrant. I really wanted her to have vibrancy and freshness, and pop colors. There’s an interesting story behind the silver dress. We never get to see the dress in the movie because it was designed for a very specific scene, which was cut. However, we had already designed the silver dress with silver leggings.”
SHURI: THE ORANGE OUTFIT
“It was a big challenge for me to come up with a wearable lab outfit that would fit the character of Shuri. She’s the young designer genius of the Wakandan Design Group and she’s very forward-thinking, so I don’t see her wearing a standard lab coat. At first, I started to poke around at some of my favorite designers. I looked at Rick Owens, Gareth Pugh and Stella McCartney, because I feel like they are always thinking ahead and they are always coming up with ideas that are very unconventional. I was heavily inspired by Stella McCartney’s ability to recycle fabrics, and the idea of taking recyclable materials and creating new fabrics – and that’s when I decided that Shuri’s lab look should be a simple dress with an overlay.
“I decided that the overlay would a type of material that is protective, cool and fun. I felt like it should look like it was made from recyclable fabric or recyclable materials. The first dress we see Shuri wear is a white dress with a mesh overlay. Overlays look like they are protecting the fabric that’s underneath, or they create a story of their own, so most of her costumes have these protective layers.
“When we see Shuri in her orange and white outfit, the overlay is an organza-looking fabric because you can actually see through it. It has a long zipper at the back and it’s shaped like a sweatshirt, so her sweatshirt overlay is part of what gives her the protection. When it comes to the leggings in the orange outfit, we were trying to come up with a fashion idea for Shuri. We ended up using a jumpsuit that had stitching lines in it. As a matter of fact, I found a jumpsuit online and the stitching lines looked like a panther face. It was a black jumpsuit with flared legs, but we ended up cutting the jumpsuit so that it would have a straight leg design. If you look at stills from the movie, the white stitching on the jumpsuit is amazing. I mimicked the lines in the orange vest that she wears. The vest is made of neoprene, which is a fabric that we use a lot when we’re thinking of future fabric.”
OKOYE: THE DORA MILAJE
“Okoye is the head of the Dora Milaje, and when I created this outfit I wanted to bring more of the story of the Dora Milaje to the costume. I made the reds and the oranges really vibrant because we only have a few members of the Dora Milaje in the film. In total, I think there were only eight – but I wanted the eight Dora Milaje to feel like 10 or 20 women. That’s why I chose vibrant and imposing colors. The beadwork is inspired by the Maasai, the Himba and the Turkana tribes. They all use this beautiful, vibrant red and the intricate beadwork always has meaning behind it. For example, the more beads you stack on your neck, the more desirable you are to the opposite sex. Overall, I wanted the costume to look like something that would be passed on or handed down. I wanted there to be this feeling that it would be given to you with such pride and such ornate handiwork of Africa that it was a privilege and an honor to receive the uniform.
“Early on, we made a decision to cover the Dora Milaje from head to toe. Since that was the idea behind the costume, it also needed to look beautiful. We were not challenged to show skin because we wanted to make the costumes so beautiful that it enhanced the beauty of a woman without showing her flesh.
“The Dora Milaje wear neck rings and arm rings that are inspired by the Ndebele [people] of South Africa. Ryan Coogler wanted the armor to feel like jewelry, so I brought a jewelry designer on to the project. All the necklaces that are worn underneath were handmade. Okoye gets to wear gold because she’s the leader, but all the other Dora Milaje wear silver. Usually in filmmaking, you don’t want anything to have too much shine – but we left the shine on the Dora Milaje because it looks magnificent.”
NAKIA: THE HIJAB AND THE CASINO DRESS
“Nakia is a war dog. She’s an operative; a spy, so she has the most looks of everyone in the film. She goes undercover as a Nigerian captive in the hijab, but then I had to quickly get her out of the hijab and give her a costume that looked like she could’ve been hanging out in any city in Africa. She had to look like she could walk down any street and blend in. When we see Nakia at the airstrip, we see her in jeans and a flowy top and a scarf. Then we see her at Warrior Falls in her traditional costume for the traditional ceremony as the River Tribe’s primary fighter. Then we see her in her casino dress. She has a lot of different costumes.
“Nakia’s more traditional outfit is inspired by the Surma and the Suri people of Africa. Nakia’s tribe are fisherman, so some of her designs are based on different cultures, nations and people of Africa who live near the water. Hence Nakia’s tribe is called The River Tribe.
“There are lots of history books with photos of Surma children who have flowers and sticks that they adorn their bodies with. That was the main inspiration behind Nakia’s traditional costume – but we also needed it to look like she was a warrior, so we gave a cross-body harness to go over the top.”
NAKIA: THE CASINO DRESS
“Nakia’s casino dress was based on a Kente pattern. When we see her in this dress, it’s very ‘Bond Girl’.
“We used the simple line-work from the Kente pattern and we had it printed on the same type of eurojersey that we used for the Panther suit. Once we had an all-black dress printed, we hand-painted it so that it would have an ombré effect.
“The ombré green paint has a little fleck of metallic in it, so when you see Nakia walk through the casino, the dress illuminates in different areas. She also needed two very long slits in the dress so that she could fight.” RAMONDA: THE
QUEEN OF WAKANDA
“This sketch illustrates our initial inspiration for the character of Ramonda, but we ended up losing the ropes in the design. We wanted to make Ramonda her own Black Panther Queen, so I looked for fabrics that had a sheen and a print, as well as fabrics that look like they have a tiny quilted pattern. I loved the idea of the designs of a 16th century Queen of England, but I really wanted her to be the Queen of Wakanda. This is the mother of Black Panther, so she had to have some strength herself.
“Eventually, Ramonda’s costume was retooled. We made it out of fabrics that I felt were superhero-like, but she has a classic shape to the dress. At first glance, I felt like she needed to look unmistakably the queen, so she has a classic queen look. This kind of anachronism is important because she also represents tradition and the Wakandan past.
“We 3D-printed Ramonda’s crown. We also 3D-printed her shoulder piece. I gave Ramonda this shape that you would see on royalty back in the 1600s and the 1800s. I love this look.”
M’BAKU: THE JABARI TRIBESMAN
“M’Baku is inspired by the Dogon tribe of Africa. Ryan Coogler really wanted M’Baku to wear a grass skirt, so I searched around for inspiration. I saw a grass piece at The Metropolitan Museum of Art [in New York] and the way it was toned and painted felt strong and manly, which I liked. The Dogon wore grass skirts during their ceremonies, but they were bright pink and bright green. Instead, I had to come up with a grass skirt that I felt would look like a traditional grass skirt worn in Africa, but also have the coloring that could be believable for warriors and for men. I decided to put a leather sheath underneath the black skirt because they are mountain-dwellers. They live in a cold climate; in the mountains where there is lots of snow.
“The original M’Baku character was called Man-Ape and his costume design was inspired by the silverback gorilla. There are still some elements of that in the design we see on screen. We used faux fur, but I found quite a few different pieces to apply to his shoulders. We attached the faux fur with refrigerator magnets so that it wouldn’t shift around or move from his shoulders. In that sense, we thought it would feel like it was the fur of the silverback ape.
“M’Baku is the head of the Jabari tribe, who are woodsmen. They believe in wood as opposed to vibranium, so it was important that his armor looked like it was made from heavy wood. We also added carvings to it from the Dogon tribe. We then had the actor [Winston Duke] stand in the fitting room and we designed all of the strips and straps that he uses to hold this heavy armor. When you combine the Dogon look with the heavy wood, this really sealed the deal to show how this tribe was very different from Black Panther.”
ZURI: THE SHAMAN LOOK
“Zuri is our shaman and our priest. When we first started to talk about Zuri, we realized that he needed to represent all people of Wakanda; all the different tribes. We used every part of Africa to tell the story of Wakanda, so Zuri’s costume is made up of every aspect of Africa.
“In his finished piece, Zuri has North Africa – the Tuareg – reflected on his sleeve with little silver amulets. He wears a beaded tabard down the front, which is a part of the language of Wakanda. You will see these tabards on other people as well, although Zuri has his own tabard that’s inspired by the Turkana.
“Zuri also wears an avagado, which is from Nigeria. It’s similar to a big caftan that Nigerian men wear. Over the top of the avagado, we created a stripped poncho, which is made up of 300 little silk tubes. We draped the tubes around his shoulders and into the back as part of his traditional cloak at Warrior Falls. He’s made up of all people in Wakanda, so he’s not based on one specific area.”