The Black Panther Blu-ray Delves Deeper In To The World of Wakanda
Black Panther broke numerous records when it hit theatres this past February, and deservedly so. Panther’s not only one of the most original and emotionally grounded superhero movies ever made, it’s also one of the most thought-provoking.
We’ve read pretty much every Black Panther-centric think piece in existence (we’re convinced that no other villain can live up to the brilliance that is Killmonger), but there’s something especially sweet about watching the minds who made the movie a success break down Black Panther’s complex subject matter themselves. The Black Panther Blu-ray is out now and provides Marvel fans with just that, as well as a couple lighthearted features and sneak peeks. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Black Panther is relatively new to the MCU, but the character itself has been around for decades. Those interested in learning more about Black Panther’s origin story and how he’s evolved since Stan Lee and Jack Kirby imagined him into existence over 50 years ago should definitely check out “From Page to Screen: A Roundtable Discussion.”
It’s the longest and most in-depth feature on the disc by far, but the discussion never drags on. Watching the creatives who helped bring T’Challa/Black Panther to life—director Ryan Coogler, comic book writers Don McGregor and Christopher Priest, Panther producer Nate Moore and current Black Panther comic book scribe Ta-Nehisi Coates—talk about the character’s cultural significance in a thoughtful and respectful way is endlessly fascinating. Plus, the possibility of a Shuri cartoon comes up at one point which is obviously something we want (nay, need) to see.
The Deleted Scenes
As with most deleted scenes, we can kind of see why these were left on the cutting room floor. Scenes of present-day T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) having a heart-to-heart with Forest Whitaker’s Zuri and young T’Challa having a heart-to-heart with his father are both sweet, but ultimately pretty inconsequential. Another scene of T’Challa, Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) talking to Martin Freeman’s Everett Ross before T’Challa addresses the UN is slightly more interesting, partially thanks to Ross’ well-meaning but painful attempt to speak Xhosa.
The most noteworthy deleted scene on the disc involves Okoye and Daniel Kaluuya’s W’Kabi. It’s a short scene that probably would have felt out of place within the actual film but nonetheless gives viewers added insight into Okoye and W’Kabi’s complicated relationship. We all know how their love story ends (spoiler alert: not well), but it’s nice to be reminded that Okoye’s decision to defend Wakanda by any means necessary couldn’t have been easy.
Want to learn more about the work that went into making Black Panther? The Panther Blu-ray features four short featurettes, each of which centres on a different aspect of the film. “The Warriors Within,” which focuses on each of Black Panther’s characters (including Queen Angela Basset as Ramonda) is especially enjoyable. Also interesting to hear from one of Panther’s stunt coordinators, who discusses the effort that went into finding a group of women badass enough to play the Dora Milaje. Our only complaint? Not enough Killmonger. How cool would it have been to see Coogler do a deep dive into T’Challa and Erik’s complicated relationship?
“The World of Wakanda” featurette will also satisfy curious viewers who want more information about Black Panther’s ties to real-life African customs and culture, a topic we covered extensively in our interview with Panther costume designer Ruth Carter.
The “Wakanda Revealed: Exploring the Technology” featurette touches on how vibranium helps link all the films within the MCU together. But the “Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years – Connecting the Universe” gives viewers an even clearer picture of how much work went into making sure everything in the MCU, from Iron Man to Avengers: Infinity War, connects and makes narrative sense. It’s less of a Black Panther-centric extra and more of a Marvel-centric extra, so expect to see it pop up on the Infinity War Blu-ray in a couple months.
The Blu-ray wraps up with a short gag reel (one that really should have been longer given the Black Panther cast’s capacity for goofiness) and an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp. The Ant-Man sneak peek doesn’t really give us anything that we hadn’t already gleaned from other videos and interviews, but it does make appreciate the fact that Andy from Wet Hot American Summer is still a legit Marvel superhero.
Black Panther is now available in Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download. Check out the official Black Panther home release trailer below.