The Black Panther superhero may be a man, but the ladies in the newest Marvel comic movie are forces to be reckoned with. Both stars in their own right, Danai Gurira & Lupita Nyong’o both acknowledge their excitement about being part of the Marvel Comic Universe but also love being able to break cultural barriers.
Academy Award® winner Lupita Nyong’o, who plays rebel warrior Nakia, says she was drawn to Black Panther for several reasons. “I had been wanting to work with [director] Ryan Coogler, who I think is brilliant,” says Nyong’o. “In addition to wanting be a part of the Marvel Comic Universe. And then the fact that this was going to be Marvel’s first black Super Hero, and that he is an African king, and the fact that we were going to be creating this really dope African country, and populate it with all sorts of badass African characters—it was a no-brainer, honestly.”
Black Panther story follows T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda (seen in Captain America: Civil War movie), returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to take his rightful place as King. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s position as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.
As for Danai Gurira, who’s already honed her badass sword fighting skills in The Walking Dead, says her character Okoye is a strong female leader. “Okoye is the head of the Dora Milaje. These women have pledged their lives to the throne and to the maintenance of the security of the kingdom and specifically of the throne,” Gurira says. “But Okoye is also the general of the armed forces as a whole and the head of Wakandan Intelligence. So she’s more than a bodyguard. She’s got a much more expansive role than that, and she’s deeply involved with all the workings of what’s going on in the kingdom. She knows everything. She reports to T’Challa. She makes decisions. She’s very well known for her abilities as a soldier and as a leader… that’s been very cool to play.”
For a behind the scenes look, check out this cool Black Panther movie featurette.
Black Panther movie opens in theaters on February 16 and stars: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya , Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Basset with Oscar winner Forest Whitaker and Andy Serkis.