The internet has brought us many wonderful things over the years, but it has also magnified the scourge of spoilers. With social media being so popular, it can be very difficult to avoid spoilers for our favourite movies and TV shows. As a result, film studios have gotten even more creative in how they keep secrets for their upcoming releases. Marvel may very well be the most meticulous of all if the account of Sterling Brown, a supporting cast member in the highly-anticipated Black Panther, is anything to go by. A star on the very popular and huge fan-favorite show This Is Us, he will be making an appearance in Black Panther next year. While he's no stranger to keeping secrets about high-profile projects, what he has to say about working on Black Panther will leave you in awe of just how far Marvel will go to maintain absolute secrecy around a film of theirs.
Marvel Keeps Their Scripts On Lockdown
"Being in a Marvel film is the pinnacle of secrecy training. You get the script, but not a hard copy. And then, like, it dissolves. Like, it's Mission: Impossible. The link self-destructs. Then you get to set and they give you your sides [scenes] for the day, and when you finish shooting, you turn your sides in. And if you don't turn your sides in — 'cause I forgot mine at the hotel one time — they follow you to your hotel to get your sides. And then you sign out. They ain't [playing] around."
It's amusingly fitting that in a film set in a closed-off African nation there's a great deal of secrecy behind the scenes in real life. We haven't really seen that much of Wakanda from the trailers (or in previous MCU films) and it's obvious that Marvel want to surprise us as much as they can when Black Panther is released. This only builds up the intrigue as many fans of the comics will be interested to see how it's brought to life on the big screen, which sounds very much like what Marvel is trying to do by keeping things so secret.
Brown is set to play N'Jobu in #BlackPanther and, aside from the fact he's a character from T'Challa's past, that's about all we know of the character because hello, it's a secret! Don't believe me? Just look at the comments Brown made to Entertainment Tonight while attempting to discuss N'Jobu:
"My character, N’Jobu, is from T’Challa’s past. And basically, without losing a testicle, I don’t think I can say anything else... I want to keep them both."
Brown is not messing around when he says Marvel keeps things top secret, you guys.
Marvel's Past Experiences With Secrecy
Marvel have actually done quite a good job of keeping the twists in their films secret. The Mandarin twist in Iron Man 3 and The Vulture being Liz's dad in Spider-Man: Homecoming are evidence of this fact. Even Captain America: The Winter Soldier relied heavily on the twist that Hydra had been secretly infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D., a reveal nobody saw this coming and that shook up the entire MCU. The secrecy that helped keep these twists as surprises is supported by Brown's comments.
Over the years, many Marvel actors have discussed the secrecy behind making an #MCU film and some have even found themselves in trouble if they haven't played by the rules. Holland infamously documented what happened when he had taken his script home after working on Spider-Man: Homecoming via his Instagram. As soon as Marvel's higher-ups found out about this he took to social media to save himself by going to some drastic measures to destroy his script:
Arguably, nobody wants to know everything about a film before they've seen it. If anything, speculation is part of the anticipation for the film. When details are scarce it allows audiences to try and guess the paths a story will take, especially with superhero films when there's a rich tapestry of source material to adapt from. At the same time, film studios love to surprise audiences and keep fans guessing, so it's important to keep things secret.
Be sure to check out Black Panther when it hits cinemas next February.
Are you glad Marvel are such sticklers for secrecy? Let me know in the comments!