Ryan Coogler talks James Bond influences, Black Panther buzz, post-credits scene and more

To say that Black Panther is hot right not might be an understatement. The buzz surrounding the movie is building up fervently among both Marvel and non-Marvel fans. The fans were already smitten by T’Challa’s character in Captain America: Civil War while the non-fans seem equally excited by the movie’s trailers set to punk rock music. And then there’s the mantle of being the first black superhero movie ever. Black Panther inadvertently finds itself shouldering quite a lot of weight.

Then again it doesn’t need to (or maybe it doesn’t). It’ll soon be followed by Avengers: Infinity War which, regardless of the outcome of Black Panther is something people are going to be interested in seeing for sure. It’s the 18th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a franchise that has now spawned a decade. And T’Challa is pretty much guaranteed to make an appearance in Avengers 4 once again irrespective of the movie’s success.

Tickets for Black Panther just went on sale recently with yet another exciting Trailer / TV Spot. To commemorate the occasion, director Ryan Coogler sat down for a chat with Fandango and revealed some exciting bits of info about the movie including its influences, the characters, and whether or not it has a post-credits scene (a no-brainer by now).

One of the things with the MCU movies is that they can generally be slotted into one genre apart from the superhero movie. The directors working with Lord Kevin Feige design the movie to belong to a different genre or a smash of genres. Thus Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a political thriller, Spider-Man: Homecoming became a coming of age high-school film while Thor: Ragnarok was a buddy-cop movie. To that end, when asked about influences for Black Panther and which genre it was aiming for, Coogler said:

Yeah, definitely with James Bond. I think similar to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we’re definitely influenced by the films of the ’70s and influenced by crime fiction. I think it’s got a lot of elements, man. I think it’s a bit of an espionage thriller. I think it’s a little bit of a family drama. It involves T’Challa working with his family, so I think there’s a family-drawn element to it. He works with his sister, he works with his mother. He’s dealing with the loss of his father, so similar to any film that deals with royalty, you have a family element and you have a political side, too. It works as a political drama as well.

The James Bond influence is certainly interesting and, as Coogler rightly said, it should make Black Panther feel more of a spy film in a similar vein as say, The Winter Soldier. Elaborating further on these influences along with the specific movie(s) he was inspired by, Coogler added:

My favorite film is a film called A Prophet, a French film that was released almost a decade ago now, which seems a bit crazy. Any time I’m making a movie, I’m always leaning on inspiration from that one. A Prophet deals with secret societies and cultural ties, so that was a big influence [on Black Panther]. I also watched a lot of Coppola’s work from the ’70s. We were looking at all of that stuff and also watched a lot of the James Bond films, but not the new ones. I wanted to watch the ones that were made in the ’60s and ’70s. I watched Goldfinger for the first time, and I just thought it was really interesting in terms of how James Bond was handy.

That’s some interesting and insightful stuff but that wasn’t all. Moving ahead from the movie to the character, Coogler was asked about T’Challa’s evolution as a character from his last appearance in Captain America: Civil War in 2016. To this, he responded by saying:

In Civil War, he was outside of Wakanda. He was in a place that he didn’t want to be and his father gets killed. The whole film, he’s on a mission. He’s a man on a mission. He’s tortured; he’s of few words. I think that that was something that made him appealing in that film. In this film, it’s the same guy, but you’re seeing all of the layers pulled back. The film’s from his perspective and he’s surrounded by people who he loves and cares for. It’s just a much more personal perspective on him. You see him go through the journey of taking on the greatest responsibility that a person can have, the responsibility of leading a country. You see him go through the full weight of that in the film.

Finally, on whether this latest MCU movie will follow the trend so far and contain a post-credit scene or two and if viewers should stick around until the end of the credits, Coogler left no room for doubt:

I think that would be a smart move, yeah.

Do check out the full interview at Fandango through the source link below. Feel free to discuss about this new barrage of info in the comments below.

Black Panther is out in theaters on Feb 16, 2018. Check out our coverage of the movie here.