Marvel is becoming the master of twisting and tweaking the superhero formula to keep their audiences engaged and excited about what’s coming next. Captain America: Civil War was a murder-mystery, Thor: Ragnarok a buddy-cop/road picture, Ant-Man and the Wasp is a rom-com. Now add Black Panther to the list of unexpected sub-genres: a James Bond-style techno-espionage thriller.
Audiences are tiring of the typical origin story, they’ve become predictable — a sure-fire way to shed audiences. Marvel is trying to stay a step ahead of audience fatigue by shaking-up the typical patterns in these movies, generally via team-ups, humor, and visual style. Black Panther as James Bond definitely adds an unexpected layer of interest to what is already a can’t-miss movie.
Director Ryan Coogler explains the intent to Total Film (via GamesRadar):
“When I first started talking to Marvel, one thing they were interested in was for Panther to be their version of James Bond, which I thought was incredibly interesting and exciting. It was a really outside-of-the-box way to look at T’Challa. There are some Bond films that I really, really like, and it gave me the opportunity to go watch some other ones.”
Marvel has long-hinted that the African nation of Wakanda, legendary home of Black Panther, was keeping secrets, and the world will soon see what they’ve been hiding. Among other things, a giant cache of Vibranium — the stuff of superhero shields, bulletproof armor, and other military-grade ordnance and weaponry. Naturally, when word of Wakanda’s technology and natural resources gets out, every terrorist and their brothers-in-arms will be racing to get a piece of the action.
The big question is how far Marvel and Coogler are taking this Bond premise? Is there a “Q” or an “M” or a Moneypenny? It appears that at least one character is embracing the comparison, Shuri (played by actor Letitia Wright), sister of T’Challa. She had this to say:
“Yeah, why not? She’s T’Challa’s Q. She’s by his side with the technology he needs. The way she helps him is really cool.”
Black Panther was already setting up to be a fresh and dynamic addition to the MCU. Adding science, technology, and a James Bond atmosphere to the narrative makes this an even more intriguing superhero movie.
Were you expecting a bit of James Bond in your Black Panther? Let us know in the comments down below!
Black Panther hits theaters on February 16, 2018.
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