ByRicky Derisz, writer at
Staff Writer at MP. "Holy cow, Rick! I didn't know hanging out with you was making me smarter!" Twitter: @RDerisz.
Ricky Derisz

Like thick, gloopy strings of varnish, slowly seeping down a freshly painted garden fence, the ideas, behaviours, and accumulating zeitgeist produced by the media slowly trickle into the minds of individuals, forming a generally accepted consensus —with Hollywood one of the most powerful mediums of drip-feeding cultural norms to the masses.

Imagine the importance then, of superhero movies; the MCU alone, in less than 10 years, has grossed almost $11 billion at the worldwide box office. Let's say the average ticket price is $8, and for argument's sake rule out repeat viewings, that's 1.37 billion people who watched the film in cinema's alone.

Sterling K. Brown in 'This Is Us' [Credit: 20th Television]
Sterling K. Brown in 'This Is Us' [Credit: 20th Television]

It's hard to deny that has a huge impact, and is in a position of influence. It stands to reason, then, that a film like Black Panther can be a force for good, transcend the screen, and become a positive influence long after the credits roll. Sterling K. Brown, the latest actor to join the cast, certainly agrees.

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From A Distant Dream To Hollywood Heavyweight

After impressing with performances in TV show This Is Us and The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Brown was added to the who's who of black acting talent, on a project he never believed would happen. In an interview with The Undefeated, he said:

"I was reading Reginald Hudlin’s series of the Black Panther 10 or 12 years ago and I remember loving it. A friend of mine was like, ‘Dude, you should buy the rights.’ I was like, ‘C’mon, man. Ain’t nobody going to do no black superhero movie!’ And here we are, 12 years later."

Boseman's debut as the character was one of the highlights of , despite the newcomer fighting alongside established crime-fighting heavyweights. The king of Wakanda, the fictional African nation, may have only made his live-action debut last year, but in written form, the character was the first black superhero in mainstream comics.

In the same manner influenced the panels of Marvel comics, the solo feature can do the same for cinema. This is a film drenched with culture, with a stellar cast and crew; director — whom Brown referred to as "one of the greatest storytellers" working today — will bring Wakanda to life.

He'll be assisted by acting talent including his Creed leading man, Michael B. Jordan, Forest Whitaker, Lupita Noyong'o, Danai Gurira and Daniel Kaluuya.

Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler on set of 'Creed' [Credit: Warner Bros.]
Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler on set of 'Creed' [Credit: Warner Bros.]

The Importance Of Diversity

Although diversity in the industry is improving (the Golden Globes are a shining example of this), the world of superheroes is still lacking diverse representation, and Black Panther can be the perfect antidote. Representation is so important, especially in a field of escapism; it's important for people from all walks of life to be able to relate to their onscreen saviours — Rogue One is a shining example.

As well as his pleasant surprise that the character of T'Challa has made it to the big screen, Brown also has an optimistic view on the execution of the story. Talking of his expectation for Black Panther, Brown added:

"It did my heart good to see Chad [Boseman] in Civil War. And after having read the script — which I can’t say anything about or I’m going to have to cut off my pinkie toe — I’m excited for fans to see what Nate Moore and Ryan Coogler has in store for them. It’s something special."

And something special it will be.

What is your most anticipated MCU film? And where does Black Panther rank?

(Source: The Undefeated)


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