In conversation with Ryan Coogler director of Wakanda Forever: Black Panther
At the age of 36 the African American filmmaker and producer from Oakland, California directed the world’s first black African-based Marvel movies featuring the best of black talent for its cast. From the first film Black Panther to the Wakanda Forever sequel, Ryan Coogler has gifted the world with fictional imaginations of a self-sufficient African nation independent from colonial and neo-colonial interjections. In this nation, Wakanda’s leaders use their commodities (vibranium) for the good of their people and their nation’s socio-economic development.
Notably, the sequel gracefully divulges into the befitting theme of grief in reverence to the loss of the movie’s first and beloved Black Panther played by Chadwick Bossman. Intertwined with the theme of grief, the threat of colonisation outside of African communities is explored with the introduction of a new underwater Kingdom – the Kingdom of Talokan defended by its leader Namor played by Tenoch Huerta.
We sat down with Ryan in the run-up to the sequel’s release to unpack his creative thought processes when directing the film and his hopes for the film’s trajectory now that it’s been released. In this conversation Ryan talks about what key ingredients make a Black Panther movie and the inclusion of Kingdom of Talokan as a means of deepening the audience-character relationships developed from the first film, whilst expanding the sequel to new audiences and communities.
Watch the conversation here on our Youtube Channel!
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Director of photography Shane Duncan
Photography by Tiffannie Mersades