Black Panther: The Official Movie Special Review
Publisher: Titan and Marvel Studios
A Review by Laura Forsey
I loved Black Panther so much, I saw it three times in one week. I love superhero movies, particularly Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, but Black Panther is something special. Every time I’ve watched it so far, I’ve found something new to enjoy, whether that’s in the story, the characters, the soundtrack, the set and costume design, or more. That’s why the Black Panther: The Offical Movie Special book is such a treat.
The book is full of rich bonus content that delves into the making of the film itself. Interviews with actors like Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Basset, and Daniel Kaluuya cover topics from the rigorous stunt training to how important they felt the movie was to African and African-American superhero fans. Each cast member also talked about their relationship with director Ryan Coogler, and how he helped them explore their character’s motivation and background. The interviews not only show a glimpse behind the Hollywood curtain, but dig into the comics history of established characters like T’Challa, Okoye, M’Baku and Killmonger, and supplement the reader’s knowledge from the film.
As well as the cast interviews, Black Panther: The Official Movie Special talks with set designers, costumers, and stunt choreographers about how they drew on historical and contemporary native African architecture, fashion, and even martial arts. It’s a fascinating look at how much work goes into building a world for the characters that feels real and lived in, and it’s hard to argue with the results. The concept art from the film’s development is just as breathtaking as the still images from the final product, and it feels almost like you could step right into Shuri’s laboratory or Warrior Falls. For art enthusiasts, it might be worth buying the book for the illustrations alone. Honestly, I could have done with more art and a deeper dive into the design and filming process, but I suppose it’s possible that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for 2000 word essays about how Okoye wears red because she’s an archetypal warrior while Nakia’s costumes are all green or brown to reflect her camouflage as a spy. It’s possible.
Buy It. Unfortunately the book is currently only available in the US, but if you can get a copy, it’s an absorbing read that will only enhance your enjoyment of the Black Panther movie.