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Immense hype surrounds ‘Black Panther’

By Jordan Brown, Asst. Section Editor

“Black Panther” comes out Feb. 16 in theaters, and everyone’s holding their breath for the first Marvel movie where a black man in authority will be the main character.

“Black Panther” was directed by Ryan Coogler, known for directing movies like Creed and Fruitvale Station, and is the sixth movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s third phase (the 18th overall).

“Black Panther” will tell the story of T’Challa, whose plan to return home and ascend to the throne is sidetracked by the return of a powerful adversary.

The hype for this movie began all the way back in 2014 when Marvel announced its plan to make a solo movie for the universe’s first-ever black superhero. From that announcement to the appearance of some of the cast at San Diego Comic-Con 2016, this movie went through several directors before landing on Coogler. Marvel also changed the release day of Black Panther three different times before landing on Feb. 16.

At SDCC 2016, Marvel Studios announced the other actors that would star alongside Chadwick Boseman: Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira.

The premiere of “Captain America: Civil War” in May 2016 gave the public its first look of T’Challa, aka Black Panther, in action and with his own plot and storyline. He was not, however, front and center like he will be in this movie.

That’s all the general public got until Game 4 of the 2017 NBA Finals: when Marvel released the very first official (teaser) trailer and poster. The trailer was viewed 89 million times in just 24 hours and reached the top of the trending board on Twitter that night and was talked about more than the game itself. (The Warriors must have been watching too: That was the only game they lost.)

Excitement stirred again at SDCC 2017 when the entire cast participated in a panel in the biggest and most talked about room in the film and television industry: Hall H. In addition to answering questions from the audience, they debuted a clip that had never been shown to anyone prior to that panel, not even the cast. The clip was met with a standing ovation from the audience and an extremely proud reaction from the cast.

The first full trailer was released late last year, on Oct. 16, and was met with many positive reviews from various websites and publications. Dave Trumbore from Collider, an entertainment website, called the trailer “ a killer trailer (that) not only shows off a ton of action sequences, outrageous costume design, and comic book goodies for fans out there, it also brings an unmistakable sense of style that’s all Black Panther‘s own.”

Rolling Stone contributor Tre Johnson wrote, “After decades of trying to nail the modern black superhero, we may finally be getting what we’ve asked for – and getting it right.”

Ever since then, Marvel has been slowly releasing images, clips and other trailers to satiate the public’s need for more Black Panther-related content. In December 2017, Fandango released a survey that said that Black Panther is the second most anticipated movie of 2018, coming behind “Infinity War.” That survey also predicted that the movie will earn in between $80 million and $90 million with potential to pass $100 million during its opening weekend, and then grossing in between $275 million and $335 million as its domestic total.

Black Panther will be as important to African-American moviegoers as Wonder Woman was important to female moviegoers, maybe even more. This is the first movie that will completely highlight the first ever black superhero, and I can’t wait.

Posted: Feb. 7

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