Comic-Con goes wild for ‘Black Panther’ at Marvel panel

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT - BY LIND­SEY BAHR

“Black Panther’’ stole the show Satur­day night at Marvel Stu­dios’ Comic-Con pre­sen­ta­tion, out­shin­ing the Ant-Man, Thor and even the ul­ti­mate Avengers team-up, “In­fin­ity War.’’

Fans went wild for the exclusive sneak peek at the up­com­ing su­per­hero pic, fea­tur­ing star Chad­wick Bose­man T’Challa in­ter­cept­ing a sketchy vi­bra­nium trade be­tween Andy Serkis’ Klaw and Martin Free­man’s Everett. Set in an el­e­gant, Ja­panese-in­spired casino, the deal goes hay­wire and T’Challa and his se­cu­rity de­tail (Lupita Ny­ong’o and Danai Gurira) jump to ac­tion in their even­ing gowns to re­trieve the pre­cious goods.

The clip was fol­lowed by the trailer for the film from “Creed’’ di­rec­tor Ryan Coogler and the 6,500 souls in the au­di­ence erupted into deaf­en­ing cheers at the sight of T’Challa mor­ph­ing into the Black Panther suit.

The film finds T’Challa re­turn­ing to his home of Wakanda af­ter the death of his fa­ther, the king.

“He’s still mourn­ing his fa­ther’s death. It’s a tran­si­tion pe­riod that gets in­ter­rupted, and he’s strug­gling with the type of king he wants to be,’’ said Bose­man.

Coogler, Bose­man, Ny­ong’o, Gurira, Serkis and more of the cast were on hand in San Diego to talk about the film, out Feb, 16, 2019.

Ny­ong’o de­scribed her char­ac­ter as a spy who goes un­der­cover to re­port back to Wakanda about what is go­ing on in the rest of the world.

“Wakanda is an iso­lated na­tion,’’ Ny­ongo said. “The world does not need to know what’s go­ing on in Wakanda.’’

Coogler said he’d al­ways had a fond­ness for comic books, and found “Black Panther’’ at a piv­otal mo­ment.

“I grew up as black kid in the Bay Area and grew up with comic books and it didn’t mat­ter what colour the su­per­heroes were. I read X-Men, I read Spi­der-Man,’’ Coogler said. Then he started look­ing for a char­ac­ter that looked like him and he stum­bled on Black Panther.

Marvel Stu­dios also teased its third “Thor’’ film, “Thor: Rag­narok ,’’ which has quite a dif­fer­ent and more ir­rev­er­ent tone from pre­vi­ous in­stall­ments, and hits the­atres in Novem­ber.

“I’ve played this char­ac­ter five times,’’ Chris Hemsworth told the au­di­ence. “Me, per­son­ally, I got a lit­tle bored and thought we’ve got to try some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent ... Push the en­ve­lope, take it to an­other level.’’

So, they cut his hair, take his ham­mer away and pit him against Jeff Gold­blum and Cate Blanchett. When Blanchett’s Hela, the god­dess of death, in­vades As­gard, Thor finds him­self on the run and un­der the con­trol of Gold­blum’s Grand­mas­ter on Sakaar where he is pit­ted against the Hulk in a Gla­di­a­tor tour­na­ment.

In this film, the Hulk re­fuses to turn back into Bruce Ban­ner, but he is learn­ing to speak, al­beit slowly.

“He has the vo­cab­u­lary of a two year old,’’ Mark Ruf­falo said.

Marvel also un­veiled the “Avengers: In­fin­ity War’’ footage that the stu­dio had pre­vi­ously shown to au­di­ences at the Dis­ney fan con­ven­tion, D23, and made a few an­nounce­ments re­gard­ing up­com­ing films: Michelle Pfeif­fer will play Evan­ge­line Lilly’s char­ac­ter’s mom Janet van Dyne in the “An­tMan’’ se­quel “Ant Man and the Wasp’’ and “Cap­tain Marvel,’’ Marvel’s first fe­male-driven su­per­hero movie, will be set in the 1990s.

AP PHOTO

Chris­tiana Broughton, left, and her mom Car­olyn, both of Jacksonville, Fla., dressed as Amat­erasu from the video game Okami and a 70’s-era Black Panther, at­tend the first day of Comic-Con In­ter­na­tional at the San Diego Con­ven­tion Cen­ter in San Diego, Calif., on Thurs­day.

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