WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE
If you've read the Black Panther comics, then you know that mysticism has a lot to do with T'Challa's journey, especially with regards to the rite of passage he goes through to become the protector of Wakanda. The mystical realm may well end up playing a part in this film, especially if he has to meet the souls of his ancestors or even the Panther God as per the books. The movie has already hinted towards a realm of spirituality.
That said, given how scientifically advanced Wakanda is, there could be an interesting duality here similar to the one the MCU crafted between science, magic, and godhood in franchises such as Doctor Strange and Thor. These conflicting philosophies would make for very intriguing stories and it'll be thought-provoking to see how Coogler balances all these tones to make the character's world a definitive one in the MCU.
LOOK AND FEEL
Black Panther's star power adds a lot of substance but Coogler definitely didn't forget the style factor. We saw a colorful and vibrant Wakanda -- from the clothes worn by the people, to the face paints adorning them, to the glow of the city when Black Panther takes to the night. In terms of where it stands in the MCU, the director's cinematography appears a tad brighter, a bit more evolved, and perhaps extending what we saw in James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and what's upcoming in Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok.
The visuals are popping off the screen and clearly, with the musical aesthetic laid out in the trailer, there's a lot of soul that's going to be injected. Run The Jewels' "Legend Has It" inclusion in the trailer quickly drew comparisons to how Logan and the Luke Cage series on Netflix utilized their scores to add flair and a distinct personality to the final product, so much so that the soundtracks and musical beds actually felt like characters of their own. Coogler seems ready to follow in the footsteps of Gunn and Waititi but for some reason, it just feels like he'll be packing an extra edge into his movie.
Black Panther has never been a character to play by the rules, and after what we witnessed in Civil War, and in Coogler's tease, it seems like he'll be throwing the rulebook out the window. Whether it be via a fully autonomous Wakanda or a king that wants to reign freely, expect the MCU to be rocked hard when T'Challa gets more air-time.
Opening on February 16, 2018, Ryan Coogler's Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa, with Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Sterling K. Brown and John Kani.