AFI Movie Club: BLACK PANTHER – American Film Institute
Black Panther Film Still



BLACK PANTHER “shatters and reshapes cultural mythology.” Ryan Coogler’s super-heroic vision was honored with an AFI AWARD in 2018 – recognizing it as one of the 10 outstanding films deemed culturally and artistically representative of the year’s most significant achievements in the art of the moving image.

Movie Trivia about BLACK PANTHER

-DID YOU KNOW that BLACK PANTHER first debuted in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR in 1966? He was co-created by comic book icons Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

-DID YOU KNOW BLACK PANTHER was developed in the early 1990s to star Wesley Snipes as the Marvel superhero? The inability to match a script with a director caused the project to stall – but allowed Snipes to work on a different Marvel project, BLADE.

-DID YOU KNOW BLACK PANTHER was the first comic book movie and superhero movie to be nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Picture?

-DID YOU KNOW this is the second time that cinematographer – and AFI Conservatory alumna – Rachel Morrison has worked with Ryan Coogler? They’d collaborated previously on Coogler’s first feature film, FRUITVALE STATION.

-DID YOU KNOW Black Panther’s presence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was first teased as early as IRON MAN 2 in 2010? At the end of that film, Robert Downey, Jr.’s Tony Stark is seen standing in front of a map which features the fictional African nation of Wakanda.

-DID YOU KNOW that production designer Hannah Beachler created a “bible” for Wakanda’s history that was 515 pages long?

DID YOU KNOW that Coogler used color coding to tell a story? Purple represents spirituality, royalty and high rank while the color blue in the film represents colonization, which is first seen in N’Jobu’s apartment.

-DID YOU KNOW that the character of Nakia, portrayed by Lupita Nyong’o was inspired by Harriet Tubman? The scene in which Nakia manages to spirit away Shuri (Letitia Wright) and Romanda (Angela Bassett) is meant to call up the historical icon and the Underground Railroad.

-DID YOU KNOW a lot of the background plates for the Wakandan exteriors were shot in South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia?

-DID YOU KNOW the waterfall set was 120 feet wide and 40 feet tall with 150,000 gallons of water running through it?

DID YOU KNOW Ryan Coogler was inspired by Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN when filming the waterfall challenge scene, specifically the political arguments and challenges inside congress?

-DID YOU KNOW that BLACK PANTHER’s Ruth Carter made history as the first African American to win the Costume Design Oscar®?


The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions

Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram now using #AFIMovieClub. Or post your responses in the comment section below.

-How does director Ryan Coogler incorporate social commentary from the very beginning of the film in terms of colonization and black exploitation?

-Do you think a superhero is defined by his or her powers? Or by the choices he or she makes?

-What makes Killmonger such a compelling villain? Do you think he makes any valid points?

-What is the difference between Killmonger’s fight for justice and Black Panther’s? Why is one a hero and one a villain?

-Describe the female characters in BLACK PANTHER. How does the film empower them and give them their own agency as characters?

-Why do you think Black Panther resonated so strongly with audiences?

-Ryan Coogler has long been vocal about hiring more women and people of color in production. How has he practiced what he preaches throughout his career?

-Do you have a favorite Marvel superhero? How many can you name?

-How would you rate BLACK PANTHER?

In this exclusive AFI Archive video from the 47th AFI Life Achievement Award tribute, Chadwick Boseman talks about Denzel Washington’s influence on BLACK PANTHER:

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