In a moment that can only be described as spell binding, fans finally got a chance to see an entire Black Panther scene at Comic Con 2017.
Last year, director Ryan Coogler brought out Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o and introduced The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira as the newest cast member. On Saturday, Coogler brought back Boseman, Jordan, Nyong’o, Gurira as well as cast Andy Serkis, Forest Whitaker, Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya and newcomers Letitia Wright and Winston Duke for a sneak peek of the film.
The stellar cast walked into the packed Hall H – Comic-Con’s storied presentation space – to thunderous applause. Seated in the reserved section, were the film’s African American production designer Hannah Bleachler and costume designer Ruth E. Carter, a 2016 ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood honoree.
And outside the Hall H? An additional 10,000 cosplayers hoping for an overflow space.
As fans settled down, Coogler told the audience that after coming to Comic-Con for years as an attendee, this was his second time he's been a part of a presentation. Then the audience was treated to an exclusive clip of the highly-anticipated film.
In the exclusive Black Panther footage, we find T’Challa (Boseman), Dora Milaje’s Okoye (Gurira) and Nakia (Nyong’o) entering a casino in Korea. They spot Wakanda enemy Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis and CIA’s Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman).
T’Challa, Nakia and Okoye have intel on Klaue’s exchanging diamonds for Vibranium, Wakanda’s most precious natural resource. Nokia wants to go in right away but Okoye suggests that they be patient. Klaue’s men discover Okoye, who then pulls off her wig and wields her staff and starts afierce fighting sequence.
The Hall H audience were not the only ones seeing this footage for the first time as the Black Panther cast was witnessing it exclusively as well. Immediately, they gave each other enthusiastic hugs and celebratory fist pumps on stage before settling down for their panel discussion.
Moderated by The Talking Dead’s Chris Hardwick, the cast and director explained their individual roles and expectations for the film. Starting off, director Coogler says, “The best thing about the comic book was that T’Challa got his power from the people around him — and where I come from, that's how we live.”
Jordan went next, explaining: “I feel like Erik has his own points of view on Wakanda and how it should be ruled. He has his eyes on the throne, so he’s doing whatever it takes to kind of make them a reality.”
“Nakia is a spy,” says Nyong’o. “She goes undercover in the rest of the world and reports back to Wakanda about what’shappening. In order to stay safe they have to send people like Nakia out, called War Dogs, to stay on top of things. Wakanda needs to know about the world — but the world does not need to know about Wakanda."
Wilson Morales is the editor of blackfilm.com and he’s been attending Comic-Con since 2004.