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'Black Panther breaks new ground'

Actor Chadwick Boseman said Black Panther was “ground-breaking” as it is a rare film to feature a black superhero in the lead.

“I think, culturally speaking, there are not a lot of opportunities to play a black superhero. It’s breaking new ground, and to be a part of that is a special thing,” he said in a statement. “If you’re going to do a superhero you want to do one where you can really act and where you can do something that’s going to make you a better artiste as well.”

Boseman, who plays Wakandan king T’Challa aka Black Panther, believes the character has the aura of James Bond around it that makes it more interesting. “He’s a superhero; he’s not just a king. He’s also really smart. There’s a James Bond feel to the character. I think the amount of responsibility that he has as a superhero and as a king is interesting,” Boseman said. “There’s a lot of real world conflict that you can bring to it. So you don’t feel like you’re just playing a guy in a suit; you’re playing a conflicted, well-rounded character.”

Black Panther follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, T’Chaka, the king of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically-advanced African nation to take the throne. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king — and Black Panther — is tested as he is drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release Black Panther’s full power to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.

Marvel’s first film to be led by a black actor, it features an all-black main cast, including Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya, and Forest Whitaker. The film releases in India on February 16.

WHILE VIEWERS WAIT FOR THE FILM TO RELEASE, THE WOODS LISTS SOME FACTS ABOUT THE MYSTERIOUS LAND OF WAKANDA AND BLACK PANTHER

  • Black Panther made his comic book debut in Fantastic Four Vol. 1 Issue 52 in 1966
  • An important part of the Black Panther lore incorporated into the film is the Dora Milaje, the cadre of strong fierce women who serve as the royal family’s personal security force. These tall, statuesque, bald-headed warrior women, who move as one, command attention wherever they go
  • Led by Danai Gurira’s Okoye, the Dora Milaje features an international contingent of women from all over the world, including Florence Kasumba who returns to play Ayo from Captain America: Civil War
  • The makers decided that Xhosa, an official language of South Africa, would serve as the language of Wakanda. A precedent was set in Captain America: Civil War when South African actor John Kani, who portrayed T’Chaka, used his native accent. Boseman picked it up from him as well
  • The cast and stunt team practised with African drums so that their movements would have a musical quality found in many African martial arts. The cast did bulk of the fight scenes in the film. Boseman, who has a comprehensive martial arts background, attended a “boot camp” with the other actors to prepare them for the physical aspects.
  • Set for the Warrior Falls, where the King of Wakanda and the heir to the Black Panther is coronated, was 120ftx75ft in size. The set was 36’ tall, with the pool being six feet above ground.

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