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Black Panther

Ryan Coogler

There’s bound to be a PhD thesis or two being written about how superheroes have become the unlikely torch bearers for studio blockbusters finally responding to calls for more diversity on screen. Wonder Woman showed Hollywood that having a female central character was box office gold. But Black Panther, poised to push even more boundaries, is already being called Marvel’s boldest movie yet, and one of its very best.

Directed by Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed), the story begins as T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns to his homeland of Wakanda, following the untimely death of his father. His kingdom, an isolated Afrofuturist land rich with both technology and culture, is soon under threat from a powerful enemy and the new king will be drawn into a conflict that places Wakanda and the whole world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people.

Boseman is joined by Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, and Coogler’s frequent collaborator, the charismatic Michael B. Jordan, in this mighty ensemble cast. Marvel has thrived by redefining serialised cinematic storytelling, while faithfully staying true to the characters comic fans love, allowing each individual filmmaker to put their own stamp on the material. Black Panther ticks all those boxes and more.