Talk Nerdy to Me: Marvel, Disney announce future cinematic diversity

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At the end of last month, Marvel and Disney announced ambitious plans for future movie releases, including a two-part Avengers sequel “Infinity War,” “Captain Marvel” (the company’s first female led film, finally), “Doctor Strange” and also, notably, the “Black Panther.”

In an interview with ABC News, Marvel executive Tom Brevoort detailed the importance of the character.

“He was the first superhero of color in 1966. At the time, it was still considered daring,” Brevoort said. “He is the latest in a long line of Black Panthers. His father was a Black Panther before him and his father before him, and so forth.”

As the leader of fictional African nation Wakanda, the Black Panther has a great deal of responsibility and handles it pretty well.

“He is a learned man, a scientist, a world traveler, a man of culture, a man of great dignity and respect,” Brevoort stated.

The Black Panther also brings a fresh spin on challenges to Marvel’s lineup of films as well; he has responsibilities and tasks that traverse further than maintaining a secret identity or protecting those close to him.

As the ruler of one of the world’s most technologically advanced nation, millions of lives are on the line in terms of the decisions he makes.

The announcement of the film was certainly a big breakthrough moment.

Sure, we’ve seen black superheroes on the big screen, but after closely examining their roles, they’re often not prominent.

The Falcon, for example, seems like Captain America’s sidekick in the second film (although recently he’s taken up Cap’s mantle in the comics).

One contender that comes to mind could be 1998’s “Blade,” which followed the story of a black vampire hunter, but that was nearly 16 years ago, and Warner Bros. upcoming “Cyborg” film is years away.

However, as the first major black superhero ever created, Black Panther could very well change things up.

According to an article by Ben Beaumont-Thomas for The Guardian, “The first comic storyline for the character involved a 200-page tale across multiple issues that dealt with his struggle against violent antagonists in…Wakanda.”

The second major storyline details his journey to the United States to fight the Ku Klux Klan, which shows that there are interesting stories revolving around the hero.

Chadwick Boseman, the actor chosen to portray Panther in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War” and 2017’s “Black Panther,” is very aware of the gravity of the role.

“It’s been done before in different ways, but it’s never been done exactly like this,” Boseman said in an interview with CBR News.

He acknowledged Wesley Snipes’ role as Blade and Anthony Mackie’s Falcon, but stated that Marvel is presenting this story in a different way that makes it stand out.

Some have voiced the concern that the superhero genre is becoming saturated with so many films announced between Marvel and DC.

What’s important is that these companies are working toward becoming as multifaceted as possible.

In 2014 alone, we’ve seen the political thriller elements in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” comedic space adventure in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and time travel in “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

By utilizing different storytelling methods, and by introducing Black Panther, Marvel can really show audiences the diversity their cinematic universe holds.


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