Black Panther was not only an incredible movie, but it was also one of the first blockbuster hits of the season for the Marvel cinematic universe. It brought $1.3 billion in for Disney, and more importantly its a groundbreaking celebration of black culture. The movie preceded Avengers: Infinity War, which gave the world the ability to meet T’Challa/Black Panther in advance of the conflict we saw with Thanos. If you haven’t seen Black Panther just yet what is wrong with you? I kid, but you should know that the DVD release is quickly coming up. Which means two things: 1) you have no reason to not watch it, and 2) we get to see the deleted scenes! The movie will be available on demand starting May 8th – just next week.
Given the anticipatory release of the movie, I’d like to take some time to remind viewers why Black Panther is, in many ways, a love letter to black culture. Africa has traditionally been an unsophisticated bit player in American media, often portrayed as backward, savage, and chaotic in everything from news coverage to films. It’s a portrayal that has left little room for other interpretations, which is why Black Panther’s vision of Wakanda as a bustling metropolis of futuristic skyscrapers, racing trains, and soaring spaceships feels so refreshing.
Many Marvel movies are set in some pretty grand locations. But what could be more imaginative than Wakanda? Wakanda presents us with the idea that there is a thriving black population that represents the collective ingenuity and beauty. It’s a testament to black empowerment.
Black Panther has set out to do something with the modern black superhero, where previous iterations have all fallen short. What is that, exactly? Well, they have made it respectful, imaginative and powerful. The Afro-punk and Afrofuturism aesthetics, the unapologetic black swagger – it’s an important resetting of a standard of what’s possible around creating a mythology for a black superhero. The movie itself points to a new direction for depicting, not only black superheroes but also how we imagine our heroes to be. Simply put – he’s not in the movie to get some laughs, and he’s not a sidekick. Black Panther’s story is one of an ingrained birthright, legacy, and royalty that is a stark difference from how we tend to treat and view most black superheroes.
The movie really is great. It will be out for you to watch at home shortly. Enjoy these deleted scenes in the meantime.