Marvel screened a sizzle reel and rough cuts of the film at an event on Monday.
Marvel’s Black Panther doesn’t arrive in theaters until February 2018, but the studio unveiled the film’s first footage at a special open house at the company’s Los Angeles offices on Monday night.
“I’m super excited about an African king who is also strong enough, fast enough, smart enough to do some of the things that T’Challa is going to do in this film,” director Ryan Coogler said in a sizzle reel for his third film, which follows on the critical and commercial success of Fruitvale Station and Creed.
Through Civil War, audiences became familiar and intrigued by T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), the royal superhero. But while he appeared in some of the screened footage, the most memorable moments in the teasers belonged to the rest of the film’s talented ensemble.
Portraying Nakia, a member of Dora Milaje, the king’s female bodyguards, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o gets her hands dirty in a scene where she single-handedly takes down a group of armed assailants in the jungle.
In a sequence that also features Boseman getting in on the action choreography, Martin Freeman (playing Everett Ross, who first appeared in Captain America: Civil War) and Andy Serkis (who made his debut as Ulysses Klaue in Avengers: Age of Ultron) trade one-liners. (“Well, you brought quite the entourage, do you have a mixtape coming out?” “Oh yeah, I’ll actually send you link.”)
Much of the other footage focuses on the journey that the key players take to Warrior Falls for T’Challa’s coronation as king. Real-life friends Nyong’o and Danai Gurira show off their camaraderie in the sequence, which also includes Forest Whitaker as Zuri.
Missing from the screened footage was villain Erik Killmonger, who is played by Michael B. Jordan. While the Creed star popped up for an interview in the sizzle reel, a more noteworthy peek at his Black Panther role was provided by artwork of his character, which featured Jordan with noticeably longer hair than his usual look.
“The story is just going to be very honest and gritty,” he teased. “I think it’s a lot of the right ingredients that we have to make something really special.”
Black Panther lands in theaters on Feb. 16, 2018.
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