Black Panther producer Nate Moore says that the film will not explore the Dora Milaje’s function as potential wives for the king of Wakanda, calling that aspect of their role in the comics “creepy.”
“One of the things that we love about the property of Black Panther is that there are so many interesting roles around him,” Moore told outlets including Screen Rant on a visit to the set. “Whether it be Ramonda, his mother; his sister, Shuri; Zuri, who is an advisor and a contemporary to T’Chaka’s and sort of a last link to his father. Ryan was really interested in exploring those relationships. Also, I think building out his relationship with the Dora Milaje, this group of all female, sort of Seal Team Six special forces women but making them all characters, making them all individuals rather than, again, this monolithic force of ass-kickers. That would be fun, and we’d always thought that’d be fun, but what we didn’t expect and what he really wanted to explore is the depth of the emotional connections between T’Challa and those individuals.”
“They’re a big part of the movie,” Moore continued. “As you guys know Danai Gurira plays Okoye who, in our world, is the head of the Dora and a pivotal character in the movie. Exploring how they work, their role in Wakanda and their relationship with the King is a big part of the storytelling.”
The subject then turned to the role of the Dora Milaje in the comics, which is to serve as a pool of potential wives for the king of Wakanda, an aspect that Moore says will not make it into the film. “You know, that was sort of part of the original Christopher Priest run where they were all betrothed which we felt wasn’t necessary to tell the story of the Dora and in a way we all kind of rejected as being a little creepy,” Moore said. “So we will not be exploring that.”
The Dora Milaje, who were created by Christopher Priest and Mark Texeira, and first appeared in 1998’s Black Panther #1, as part of the influential Marvel Knights relaunch. In addition to serving as potential wives for the king of Wakanda, they also protect the Black Panther as bodyguards.
Directed by Ryan Coogler from a script he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole, Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue, and Forest Whitaker as Zuri. The film opens Feb. 16.
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