Ryan Coogler calls 'Black Panther' his most personal film


And we worked for about 40 minutes. It was like, "Can you do it this way?" "But now is a brilliant time because things are changing rapidly in every single aspect of filmmaking". I meet Yugen Blakrok at an eatery, and we settle into the nook of a restaurant that has Ponte prominently winking at her past the floor to ceiling windows.

He'd be like, "Okay".

"He's so real. If you say "I'm bumping with this one", he'd go and come back, he'll make sure you're satisfied, make sure it's tracking, and we were just all really there, too". It's been done since X-men revamped their lineup to include more global heroes in the '70s, including Storm (African), Nightcrawler (German), Wolverine (Canadian), Banshee (Irish), Thunderbird (Apache) Colossus (Russian) and Sunfire (Japanese). The three events create three different experiences that reflect the broad spectrum of viewers who are hyped to see the film. There is a lot of excitement from those who have seen it either at the January 29 Los Angeles premiere or a screening for critics at Disney Studios.

Were you familiar with the comics? "I grew up loving pop culture and action movies and video games and all that stuff", he says. He also happens to wear a fearsome black panther costume. Much like 2008's Iron Man, which took a "C-list" comic book character and made him a superstar - and also kicked off this multi-billion dollar juggernaut studio franchise, Black Panther works perfectly as a stand alone film. I got more rejection letters than I got any kind of letter in terms of applying to film festivals, grant programs and development programs. And I was right on board with that. I was panicking. I was just writing and didn't know what I was writing for. When we caught eyes, he started smiling a big smile. Are genuine cultural connections allowed in modern-day comic book blockbuster-making? I was like, "Whoa". You don't want to fight a Wakandan, whether it's T'Challa, whether it's any of them. So for me, man, being part of this community is like nothing else.

AP: Jordan's character can't really even be called a villain, can he? It's really exciting to know that we'll be diving into not just a new hero and world, but we have the chance to get to know new characters that can influence other MCU storylines. T'Challa intends to continue his country's tradition of isolationism, protecting itself by keeping others out and by not revealing its power to the world. Canada and the USA, which together make up the "domestic" film market, are becoming more diverse, and young people, who are the biggest purchasers of cinema tickets, are the most diverse of all. They had my album there and when they heard I was around, they asked me to come to the class and give a talk. They don't sneak around. What that means exactly, is still a mystery; but people have been going insane about it on Twitter.

He seems to enjoy getting under people's skin. "I think the best versions of these stories do both things". He knows they think that he is just this big, intimidating guy, but at the same time he's vegetarian. He can use that and wield that to his advantage.

I should also mention the character of M'Baku (Winston Duke), another Wakandan leader of a tribe that lives outside of the main hub that surrounds the crown. That's what I wanted to bring across, that he's contemplative. "If there's a lot of action and a good story, this movie will be off the chain". As the mother of 12-year-old twins, Basset is thrilled the movie offers her kids a reflection they don't often see. I know directors often make visual sizzle reels to give a loose idea of what they'd like to do with it. It might be political for some people, but there is a message in the images, and it's very clear what it is.

Black Panther, she says, depicts "an African culture before colonialism and how its science and knowledge could have developed if it hadn't been violently interrupted". Before all the "isms" of the world are placed on them, they get to consume, ingest and express this.