Marvel’s Black Panther is one of the most highly anticipated films of this year, not only because of its all-star cast and Kendrick Lamar-produced soundtrack, but because of its stunning scenes. The world of Wakanda is, for lack of a better word, a visual marvel, and Marvel paid top dollar to make it that way.
The big budget needed to create the futuristic utopia was an obvious choice for Marvel, Fiege explains.
“It’s a big story that deserves to be told in a big way, for all of the cultural and political reasons that people talk about, but also because it’s such a key corner of our Marvel universe, and has been for decades and decades,” he said. “We wanted to do it justice, and we have a studio with Disney, and leaders with Alan Horn and Bob Iger, who supported us a hundred percent.”
The money is clearly well spent, considering Black Panther is expected to break box office records when it debuts this weekend on Feb. 16. The production is set to rake in an estimated $165 million its opening weekend, which would make it the most successful February launch of all time. A petition going around is trying to get Marvel to invest some of those profits, 25 percent to be exact, back into the black community.
The film is making history in other ways too, by bringing Marvel’s first, nearly all black cast to the big screen.
“It’s something that’s easy to take for granted, growing up in the United States as a white male, that my cinematic heroes look like me,” Feige said. “It’s something that over the course of these ten years, having a certain amount of power over what type of movies are made and what type of actors we hire, I want everybody to have that feeling. We don’t take it for granted that people want to see themselves reflected in our heroes and our characters. That’s been the case in the comics for years, and, finally, that’s the case in the movies, and will only continue from here.”