The first teaser trailer of the Creed director Ryan Coogler’s Marvel adaptationBlack Panther revealed a movie that will tackle colonialism and ideas of monarchy, as well as the usual car-flipping action.
Airing during an NBA finals game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, the teaser debuted the first shots of Chadwick Boseman, who played James Brown in the biopic Get On Up, as T’Challa – aka the Black Panther, the would-be ruler of the fictional African country of Wakanda.
The trailer starts with Andy Serkis and Martin Freeman talking about how Wakanda is actually the mythical golden city El Dorado, with Serkis’s character boasting: “I’m the only one who has seen it and made it out alive.”
A voiceover goes on to predict that “soon there will only the conquerers and the conquered”, as armed groups attempt to stage what appears to be an invasion.
Before the trailer was released, Marvel teased the film’s poster with Boseman sitting on a throne. A press release revealed a little of the plot, which will follow the Black Panther as he’s “drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk”.
Boseman made his first appearance as the Black Panther in the superhero ensemble film Captain America: Civil War in 2016, and Coogler’s film is to debut in February 2018.
Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of Between the World and Me, began writing new editions of the Black Panther comic in 2016 and promised an “upheaval” of the character, who first appeared in 1966 and was the first mainstream black superhero. The former Guardian columnist Roxane Gay has also written the comic.
The film seems to be along the same lines as Coates’s work, with the main tagline “it’s hard for a good man to be a king” – mirroring something Coates said when promoting his version of the comic.
“In Black Panther there is a simpler question: can a good man be a king, and would an advanced society tolerate a monarch?” he asked in 2016.