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Black Panther Is Lit, And Everyone Knows It

Black Panther Is Lit, And Everyone Knows ItPosted by Jacqueline Coley

January 26, 2018

When the Black Panther casting was announced last May it broke the internet, and since then the film has continued break records, reach milestones, and it is still weeks away from the premiere. The day tickets went on sale as it broke the single-day sales record for any Marvel film according to Fandango. The hashtag #BlackPantherSoLit that was so eloquently coined by twitter account @ChadwickNChill has been the unofficial Black twitter tag for the film and any pre-premiere news. After it was announced Michael B. Jordan and Lupita N’yongo were joining Chadwick Boseman, it has been one earthshattering-casting announcement after another. Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira Daniel Kaluuya, Ulysses Klaue, Forest Whitaker, Letitia Wright, Sterling K. Brown, & Florence Kasumba will all be loud and proud, on the screen when the film hits theaters February 16th. Boasting a 90% black cast most of whom are very active social, we hoped and assumed they had seen glimpses of the hype.

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER
T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)
Credit: Matt Kennedy/©Marvel Studios 2018

When we asked Chadwick Boseman, he tried to play down how much he followed the film online. He admitted he saw it but added. ‘I see certain things, but I see it differently because it’s important for me not to look at everything that’s happening. You have people saying it’s got to have this or it’s got to have that.
You are collaborating with the audience, but it’s not like if I was doing a play and I’m on stage with somebody, and the audience responds, we get that direct ‘I know that that worked because he responded to it.’

Lupita was a bit more upfront with how much she had seen ‘You have to be blind not to see this.’ She joked, ‘It’s been really intense that #BlackPantherSoLit, and it continues to be so with every announcement being made of who’s joined the cast, it’s [put] a lot of pressure on us.’ The pressure side is, of course, the negative side of looking online. You will always have haters and backlash online. A few weeks ago Russian bots and select few haters trended the idea that Black Women would be boycotting the Black Panther because star, and online bae, Michael B. Jordan is dating *gasp* a white girl. Sideeyes were given, and clapbacks corrected the narrative, but this is normal the downside of a highly anticipated film online, so it cannot be ignored.

It was such nonsense as women, particular black women, have taken the lead on Black Panther both in front and behind the camera. Besides the incomparable actresses I mentioned above, the film is shot by historic Oscar nominated Cinematographer Rachel Morrison, with Hannah Beachler, & and Ruth Cater on set helming Production Design, & Costuming respectively. The final proof that the filmmakers of Black Panther are consciously aware of the online impact of Black Panther came from Executive Producer, Nate Moore.

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER
L to R: T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan)
Credit: Matt Kennedy/©Marvel Studios 2018

We asked if he saw the online reaction he laughed and said, ‘We did. We pay attention to all that stuff. It gets us excited when people are excited; we don’t take that for granted. We don’t assume that people are going to show up to any of our movies, so when people get as excited as they were getting for Panther, we were like, “Oh, we’re on the right track. This is great.” It’s heartening for us. We want to hear back from everybody. Kevin [Feige] has always said he’s on the side of the audience; he wants people to love the movies as much as we love the movies. All of that stuff we track for sure.’

The marketing and social promotion has been very much dialed into that fan reaction. With a 100 day countdown to the premiere, this was the first Marvel that began a countdown to the premiere that far out. Now we are just days away from the release and the anticipation of has reached a fever pitch. We all have seen the signs that Black Panther will be lit now just comes the moment of truth to determine if our hopes prove correct.

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