With the red carpet premiere of Marvel’s Black Panther comes the first responses over social media. While full-length reviews are still under embargo until closer to the film’s February theatrical debut, the consensus is clear: long live the king.
Directed by Ryan Coogler (Creed), Black Panther gives King T’Challa of Wakanda (Chadwick Boseman) a film all his own within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Coogler & Co. received high praise from his Marvel family, including Donald Glover (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok), Peyton Reed (Ant-Man and the Wasp director), and James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director).
“[Black Panther] was beautiful. we should keep celebrating. who’s out there?” tweeted Glover, who’ll also be seen as Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story and the voice of Simba in The Lion King.
Reed called the film “beautiful, soulful, thoughtful, and of the moment,” while Gunn praised Coogler’s “extraordinary work.”
Thompson, who also worked with Coogler on Creed, had but four words after seeing the movie: “BLACK PANTHER, my goodness.”
In Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa revealed himself as a prince dealing with the murder of his father amidst the unrest among the Avengers. In Black Panther, he must embrace his position as the new king of Wakanda, the highly advanced African nation once hidden from the rest of the world, while dealing with those who wish to claim his crown.
Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Sterling K. Brown, Andy Serkis, and Martin Freeman help round out the cast.
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Before Coogler was enlisted to direct, Selma‘s Ava DuVernay was in talks. She eventually dropped out due to creative differences, but it all worked out because now she’s getting ready to premiere Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time. “We edited our films across the hall from each other for 8 months,” the filmmaker wrote of Coogler. “We talked in our edit bays, on walks around the lot. About our films, our dreams. Tonight, his comes true. On my way to the #BlackPanther premiere with a full heart for my fam, director extraordinaire.”
The critical praise was just as high. “Timely,” “compelling,” “political,” “kinetic, purposeful,” and “visually astonishing” are just some of the ways reviewers described Black Panther.
“#BlackPanther is a love letter about blackness, to a world that often ghettoizes it without realizing that it is on black backs that this planet revolves,” Tre’vell Anderson of The Los Angeles Times wrote. “This world’s livelihood is in our blood.”
See more responses below.
Black Panther hits theaters on Feb. 16.