Ryan Coogler didn’t just have to bring King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and the world of Wakanda to life when he co-wrote and directed Black Panther in 2018. He also had to make a bad guy who was good enough for both.
Coogler made Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), a very driven and memorable character, by giving him deep goals and aspirations that most 2-D villains never have.
Coogler says in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever that he’s done it again with Namor the Sub-Mariner (Tenoch Huerta), Wakanda’s new unstoppable threat, by taking ideas from Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
When Collider’s Editor-in-Chief Steve Weintraub sat down to talk about the new sequel, he praised Coogler for making the villains in both Black Panther movies seem real.
Killmonger was cruel, but he fought his whole life for a cause he cared about. In the same way, Namor may be a threat to Wakanda in Wakanda Forever, but he fights for Talocan, his realm under the sea.
When asked how he makes a great villain, Coogler said, “Actually, for me, I don’t see them as villains.” Instead, he said, he just sees them as rivals. So much of what we see in the Marvel and DC universes are black and white.
Coogler wants to challenge this idea, making it hard to tell what is right and what is wrong depending on whose movie you are watching. The director also said that he doesn’t want to “control what people say,” but he chooses to look at his characters from all angles.
His way of making movies is influenced by films he likes. Coogler says that Terminator 2 from 1991 was a “”big inspiration” for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, saying, “When I think of them, I think of a character who will be in conflict with my main character.
And it would be interesting if they want the same things, but because of who they are and what has shaped them, they want to get those things in different ways that clash with each other.
And that’s where it ends. That’s kind of how I like movies to be put together.” He continued by saying:
“Terminator 2 is a big inspiration for this movie. Big time. And you think about what T-1000 wants, and what Arnold Schwarzenegger’s robot wants. They both want John Connor, but T-1000 wants to kill him, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character wants to protect him. That’s the movie. And I look at it like that and also try to spend time with them. Not too much, you know what I’m saying? But enough that you understand where they’re coming from and that you believe them when they make threats.”
Coogler compares Namor to Terminator 2’s T-1000 (Robert Patrick) and says that the audience is more likely to side with the so-called “heroes” of the MCU and find the Sub-actions Mariner’s cruel.
In the movie, Wakanda is still grieving the loss of King T’Challa when the Talocans start a fight after the country decides to open its borders to the rest of the world.
Still, Namor thinks this is fair and necessary, and the director says that this Mutant can back up what he says with force, saying:
“That’s what makes Namor, I think, so cool in the books. In most publishing runs of him, he’s very arrogant. But you also know he has the capability to do what he’s saying he’s going to do. He walks in in his underwear and says, “Hey, I’m going to kill everybody.” But you believe it because you know he is capable of it. So we wanted to bring that same kind of swagger to the cinematic version of him, but also give it the detail that you would recognize in a Black Panther movie.”
Fans will see Letitia Wright as Shuri, Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as General Okoye of the Dora Milaje, Florence Kasumba as Ayo, Winston Duke as M’Baku, and Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross all return in Wakanda Forever.
In addition to Huerta’s Namor, the sequel features Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams (aka Ironheart), Michaela Coel as Aneka, Mabel Cadena as Namora, Alex Livinalli as Attuma, and Lake Bell in a role that hasn’t been revealed yet.
On November 11, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever comes out in theatres. Steve’s interview with Coogler will be continued soon.
In 10 Days, experience the movie event you will remember forever. Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: #WakandaForever arrives in theaters November 11.
— Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (@theblackpanther) November 1, 2022