5 Fun Facts about The Development of Black Panther

Haven’t you heard of Black Panther? It has been all the hype on social media, and deservingly so too. When Black Panther first appeared in Captain America: Civil War, it started to leave fans thinking of when the fierce hero would make a debut. During the opening weekend, I went to see this new movie to see if it was worth all the rave and met by expectations. I will be honest that I was not let down in the slightest because it exceeded my expectations! It definitely became my new favorite Marvel film to date, and that’s saying a lot. From the culture to the costumes, it was on point in every aspect. Are you still not convinced to leave your house to see it right now? Well, here are some fun facts that might change your mind.

1. He Was The First Black Superhero in Mainstream Comics

Photo courtesy of Marvel Comics

That’s right! He predates Tyroc, John Stewart’s Green Lantern, and Black Lightning. On the Marvel side, he predates Falcon and Luke Cage. Black Panther was truly a game changer in the world of comics back in 1966. Ever since then, he’s been included in many mainstream comics including Fantastic Four and X-Men.

2. The Film Director is a Sacramento State Alumnus

Photo courtesy of Sacramento State University of California

Ryan Coogler graduated from Sacramento State with a degree in finance in 2007. He was given a scholarship to play as a wide receiver for the school’s football team. However, while attending classes at Sacramento State, he made a great self discovery; A love for screenwriting. Since graduating, he has directed the films Fruitvale Station, Creed and now Black Panther.

3. The Film Broke Several Box Office Records

Photo courtesy of Freestocks.org

Black Panther broke so many records including biggest February opening weekend, biggest non-sequel opening weekend, biggest solo superhero launch of all time, biggest long holiday opening weekend the top-grossing film by a black director and several others. If that does not speak for how great and enjoyable this movie is, then what does? I saw some of the hype first-hand when I was leaving the movie theater. There were lines wrapped around the whole place. With the rate at which it’s going, I don’t think the hype will die down anytime soon.

4. Features First Woman Nominated For A Cinematography Oscar

Photo courtesy of STEVE DIETL/NETFLIX

Cinematographer Rachel Morrison is a huge inspiration for women in the Hollywood industry. In 2016, women accounted for just 5 percent of cinematographers on the top 250 domestic-grossing films that year. That’s a little ridiculous if you ask me. She had been nominated for an Oscar for her work in Mudbound, and recently received much praise for her work in Black Panther. Women behind the scenes are slowly being acknowledged for their hard work and I’m living for it!

5. Culture And Diversity

Photo courtesy of Matt Kennedy/Marvel Studios

Hollywood has been quite controversial over the years for not having enough diversity, but Black Panther proves to the industry that color is no barrier. Not to mention the underrepresentation of women of color present in Hollywood. Black Panther is filled with badass women warriors that inspire me to fight for what I want too. With an almost entirely black cast set and an array of music from black artists, it’s safe to say that it’s success was not a secret. The representation and accuracy of culture was vital to its success. While the country of Wakanda is fictional, the culture, languages and their accents were real and showed strong similarities to the African culture people can relate in our present time.

When I went to see the movie, I saw several people in line wearing traditional African clothing to show cultural pride. The film had presented countless elegant African looks from the headscarves to the intricate jewelry. The film brought out a prideful element to its audience, encouraging them to be proud and aware of where they came from. This is something I know I’ve had a struggle with, being a fair-skinned Hispanic woman born in America. It truly made me feel part of these character's lives because there was so much diversity.

Are you convinced yet? I just convinced myself to go see it a few more times. After seeing this film, it will make you feel connected to their culture and to the people's stories, something Ryan Coogler helped execute very well. Coogler found his true calling at Sacramento State, and soon you will find yours too! Remember, there are resources on campus that can help you do so like the Multi-Cultural Center’s informative seminars and the Academic Resource Center’s helpful advising. But first, go watch Black Panther.