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There’s no way to see the new Black Panther footage unless you happened to be at the Marvel Studios Comic-Con presentation last night.
But the stars of the film gathered exclusively at EW’s studio after debuting the clips to walk us through what was revealed — and which mysteries are being teased.
Director Ryan Coogler specifically cited the comic book series A Nation Under Our Feet by civil rights journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates and artist Brian Stelfreeze for inspiring the hero’s new suit, which spreads across his body like a high-tech second skin in the new scenes.
(Villain Erik Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan, also surprises the Wakandan leadership by revealing he has accessed technology for a similar, golden suit of armor.)
The cast gathered at EW’s studio was nearly complete: T’Challa star Chadwick Boseman; Okoye (The Walking Dead‘s Danai Gurira), who’s the king’s head of intel and leader of the all-female Dora Milaje; Wakandan covert agent Nakia, played by Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o (who enjoyed being called James Bond and Bond girl rolled into one); and Get Out‘s Daniel Kaluuya, who plays W’Kabi, the king’s best friend and chief of security for Wakanda’s border.
We also had a wise man and a dynamic young genius — Forest Whitaker, who plays Zuri, a shaman and religious leader from Wakanda to advises the new king, and Letitia Wright, who plays Shuri, T’Challa’s sister and lead weaponry designer for the nation.
Finally, there was a trio of villains: Jordan’s exile Killmonger; Winston Duke’s rival from the mountain tribe, M’Baku; and arms dealer Ulysses Klaue, played by Andy Serkis — who filled us in on the “sonic disruptor” his character now has built into the prosthetic of his left arm.
For those who missed EW’s recap of the footage from last night, here’s what the crowd in Hall H witnessed. Read it, and check out the cast’s commentary on it in the video above.
In new footage from the movie — which received a standing ovation — we saw nearly the full casino scene from the film.
T’Challa, Okoye (Gurira), and Nakia (Nyong’o) are dressed to the nines, entering a glamorous secret club in South Korea, in pursuit of the Vibranium poacher Ulysses Klaue (Serkis), who was last seen in the Marvel universe getting his arm cut off in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Now he wears a plastic prosthetic, and he’s there to meet the CIA agent Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman). There will be an exchange — a tiny scrap of Vibranium, in exchange for a suitcase full of diamonds.
The Wakanda operatives are still low-key, tracking their prey. Meanwhile, Klaue prepares for the handoff with his American contact, who seems unhappy to be bargaining with the unsavory arms dealer. Nyong’o’s Nakia — a “war dog” undercover operative, who is like James Bond and a Bond girl wrapped up in one — is ready to fight. Okoye tells her to stand down. They don’t want a shoot-out, she says.
But Nakia doesn’t listen. She draws down. Klaue gets spooked, and Okoye ends up pulling out a tiny piece of Vibranium herself — a purse-sized implement that extends to a full-sized spear. Three of Klaue’s men are on the ground before long, victims of a brutal beatdown. Klaue opens fire on the CIA agent, and diamonds burst from the silver case. Everyone’s operation has just gone south.
As Klaue retreats from the brawl, T’Challa leaps from the ground floor to the balcony in a single powerful jump. He’s not wearing his suit, and Klaue has his gun out, point-blank range. He shoots, but he’s out of ammunition. So he raises his hands — his real one, and the fake.
“You look just like your father,” he tells the young Wakandan king. Then the prosthetic opens up. A cannon with a blue, glowing core extends, and Black Panther dodges a lethal blast at the last moment. From there, we see a street chase. Klaue speeds away with his surviving entourage in a caravan of SUVs while T’Challa chases on foot.
As T’Challa runs, his evening wear disintegrates and his Vibranium-woven Black Panther suit spreads across his body. He leaps upon Klaud’s car, ripping one of the front wheels off with his claws. Okoye hurls her spear through the air with such force, it embeds in the street in front of another SUV and causes the vehicle to flip end over end when it strikes the post.
From there, the scene became a more traditional trailer, revealing a battle at Warrior Falls between T’Challa and mountain tribe ruler M’Baku (Duke). Jordan’s Erik Killmonger confronts T’Challa in his throne room. “Must feel good. Sitting here comfortable,” he tells T’Challa.
The meeting goes badly. In a shot that was previously released, Killmonger pulls out his own blades on a landing pad to confront members of the all-female Dora Milaje. But this time, we see his clothing dissolve just as T’Challa’s did. Killmonger has his own version of the Black Panther suit — this one golden.
The two men become locked in battle, and this time there’s no telling who will be left standing.
Black Panther hits theaters Feb. 16, 2018.