Africans can’t get enough of the first Marvel superhero movie with a predominantly black cast. The release this week of Marvel Studios’ latest superhero outing, Black Panther, has triggered the enthusiasm of African movie fans and a sense of pride that Hollywood has finally plugged a gap.
With an almost entirely black cast and a young African-American director, Ryan Coogler, the film has already won rave reviews for its stereotype-busting portrayal of Africa.
Black Panther has received rave reviews from critics and cinema goers who have flocked to its’s premieres in Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa among others.
When it comes to Africa, movies are usually centred on poverty, war or corruption. However, with the advent of Marvel’s Black Panther, many are hopeful that trend will finally come to an end. For once, we have a movie not just about a hero but a king.
Ultimately, it seems Black Panther represents a massive change in the superhero narrative. African and African American comic book fans will finally get to see a movie where they can see themselves as the protagonist. However, this film isn’t just for black people. The impressive pre-sales suggest superhero fans around the world are clamouring for something different
South Africa hosts Black Panther stars
Some of the cast actually flew down to South Africa for the premiere, with Kenyan born actress Lupita Nyong’o, tweeting that ‘the excitement is spellbinding’.
Zimbawean born actress Danai Gurira earlier tweeted about ‘taking Black Panther to the motherland’.
Black panther is set in the fictional African nation of Wakanda. It tells the story of the new king, T‘Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), who is challenged by rival factions.
The fictional African country is depicted as a verdant land with stunning waterfalls where spacecraft designed like tribal masks soar over a modern metropolis.
Directed by black director Ryan Coogler and featuring actors including Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong‘o and Forest Whittaker, the film has received widespread critical acclaim after years of criticism about the under-representation of black people in Hollywood.