Black Panther is perhaps the single most anticipated Marvel movie of the year—at the very least, it's the MCU film that has pre-sold the most amount of tickets in a day. The massive flick will directed by Ryan Coogler, of Fruitvale Station and Creed fame, and he recently sat down with Total Film to reveal some of his Panther inspirations.
"When I first started talking to Marvel, one thing they were interested in was for Panther to be their version of James Bond, which I thought was incredibly interesting and exciting," Coogler said. "It was a really outside-of-the-box way to look at T'Challa. There are some Bond films that I really, really like, and it gave me the opportunity to go watch some other ones."
There haven’t been any other Marvel movie to take on the sleek espionage mood of a classic James Bond flick. Spider-Man: Homecoming was a coming of age story, Ant-Man was a kind of heist movie, and Thor: Ragnarok was a delightful comedy. That is all to say that Marvel has never released anything with a Bond-type swag. We already know Coogler’s Black Panther will aim to shed new light onto the secluded, mysterious people of Wakanda and their leader, and the importance their society places on secrecy is definitely prime for some super-secret spy shit.
What’s more, as Total Film pointed out, Bond never really acts alone. He has sidekicks like Q or Moneypenny that aid him and keep him in line. That’s why the mag asked Leticia Wright, who plays Shuri, T’Challa’s sister, if she would agree that she’s the Q to T’Challa’s Bond.
"Yeah, why not? She’s T’Challa’s Q,” Wright said. “She's by his side with the technology he needs. The way she helps him is really cool.”
But besides adding to the general Bond vibes of the movie, Wright also believes Shuri will be able to help those in the audience. "I hope Shuri can help people. Maybe you’re in school right now, and super smart and super intelligent, and people may be saying, 'You're a geek,' or whatever, making them feel bad,” she said. “Maybe they can watch this film and be like, 'Man! Being smart or a scientist or super great at math is not a bad thing at all.'"
Black Panther hits theaters on Feb. 16.