“The best thing about T’Challa is he gets his power form the people around him and his history.”
That’s how Black Panther director Ryan Coogler described the secret strength of the hero in his upcoming Marvel movie.
The filmmaker and his cast appeared at the close of San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday night, previewing new footage for the fans that showcased the Afro-futuristic world of Wakanda.
Chadwick Boseman, who plays the king and protector of that advanced African nation, said the title character is grappling with his new role.
“He’s returning from the events of Civil War, he’s lost his father, and he’s just learning how to become a new ruler,” Boseman said. “He’s still mourning his father’s death.”
Michael B. Jordan, who plays the antagonist Erik Killmonger, struggled not to reveal too much about his exiled Wakandan, who poses a major threat to the new king. “I feel like Erik has his own opinions and point of view on Wakanda and how it should be ruled,” the actor said. “He has his eyes on the throne.”
In new footage from the movie — which received a standing ovation — we saw nearly the full casino scene from the film. T’Challa, Okoye (The Walking Dead‘s Danai Gurira), and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) are dressed to the nines, entering a glamorous secret club in South Korea, in pursuit of the Vibranium poacher Ulysses Klaue (Andy 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 Klaue’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 (Winston 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.
You can see a new poster for Black Panther below.