20 Secrets of Black Panther

Updated on August 1, 2018

Background: Facts 1-4

  1. Many people assume that the Black Panther series was named after the controversial Black Panther party. However, the comic books actually predate the party by two months, although, it is worth noting the imagery of a panther had been used by previous groups with a political affiliation.

  2. After the comic books became associated with the Black Panther party, which both came about at a similar time in the 1960s, the creators changed the hero’s name to the Black Leopard to avoid controversy. However, the name change itself became controversial (and massively unpopular) so the creators decided to reinstate the original name.

  3. Black Panther, like many other superheros of the era, did not start off in a stand-alone series. Before getting his own, the Black Panther appeared in Fantastic Four comics and alongside Captain America

  4. Director Ryan Coogler expressed great excitement about this project when he was initially approached to direct, because he had been a fan of the comics as a child. His first exposure to Black Panther was as a young man, when he asked a clerk in his favorite comic book shop if there had ever been a black superhero.

Production: Facts 5-11

5. According to an interview with on NPR, the language spoken by the Wakandans is a real language from South Africa called Xhosa

6. When shown on a map, the fictional Wakanda is shown to be in the same location as South Sudan

7. To stay in character between takes, Michael B. Jordan kept himself secluded from his fellow actors, to avoid letting amiable banter with cast mates add an element of friendliness to his performance as a villain.

8.The Black Panther film project was decades old by the time it was finally released in 2018. The original version, first planned in the 1990s, was slated to star Wesley Snipes as the titular superhero. However, Wesley became busy with the Blade film series and the project was shelved. Although he out-aged his part, he gave the film his blessing.

9. Rachel Morrison, the film’s cinematographer, was personally recommended by Coogler, as he had enjoyed working with her on his first film, Fruitvale Station

10. The extended car chase scene was actually filmed on location in South Korea; locations included a large fish market and popular tourist destination Gwangalli beach.

11. Because the crew knew very little about South Korea before filming there, hundreds of film students from local universities were hired to assist with production.

Nearly 200 musicians worked on the film's soundtrack
Nearly 200 musicians worked on the film's soundtrack

Post Production: Facts 12-16

12. In order to score the film, composer Ludwig Göransson (who had worked with Coogler before) hired a 92-piece traditional symphonic orchestra, a 40-voice choir, and 40 additional musicians to play traditional African instruments.

13. The “Oakland” apartment scenes were actually filmed in Atlanta, in the area where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Additionally, one of King's relatives visited the set at one point to give the film her blessing.

14. Coogler has stated that he prefers to have both women and men edit his films simultaneously. After a female editor pointed out that a fight scene showed a woman being saved by an all male tribe, the director shot additional footage of female fighters to add balance to the scene, an idea he "never would have thought of" without a female perspective.

15. The album art for the film’s soundtrack was designed by Nikolas Draper-Ivey, who is best known for his Disney-inspired fan art. He was shocked when he was asked to design the cover, and produced his initial mockup in just one day.

16. Because the film was shot in primarily in Atlanta, local landmarks were used to fill in for major locations; Atlanta’s City Hall stood in for the United Nations Building, and the High Museum of Art stood in for the British Museum.

The "minimalist" album artwork for the movie's soundtrack
The "minimalist" album artwork for the movie's soundtrack

Reception: Facts 17-20

17. Black Panther has become the most tweeted about film in history; over 35 million user have posted content regarding the film.

18. The film had the largest ever advertising budget for any non-sequel Marvel film, with over 140 million dollars.

19. Black Panther broke several box office records. Although far from the only film to make over 1 billion dollars, the film stunned analysts when it made that sum in only 24 days.

20. In 2018, Black Panther became the mostly highly praised superhero movie of all time on the popular film website Rotten Tomatoes, with a near perfect score of 97%.

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