“The excitement for Black Panther has been building steadily with every new announcement, and the film doesn’t even come out for another two years. In that time we’re sure to get plenty of teases and tidbits about the movie. Well, today is a good tidbit day because Joe Robert Cole, the writer of Black Panther, has revealed how he’s tackling the portrayal of Black Panther’s fictional home, the nation of Wakanda. As is the case with most things in the MCU, the writer is grounding the nation in reality and building out from there.
Joe Robert Cole was a writer on the excellent FX mini-series The People Vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and while in attendance at a party for the series,/Film was able to catch up with the writer on how the Black Panther script was coming along. Aside from handling the responsibility of writing the first black lead superhero in the MCU, Cole will also be introducing T’Challa’s kingdom Wakanda, the most technologically advanced nation in the world. On the subject of Wakanda, Cole said that the fictional nation will be based on real African culture.
Africa is such a huge nation. There are so many countries, each of them with different histories, mythologies, and cultures but what we tried to do was hone in on some of the history, some of the cultural influences and then extrapolate out in our technology, extrapolate out in how we see Wakanda and the different parts of the country and the culture of the country as well. So we wanted to root it in reality first and then build out from there, so we’d feel pretty authentic and grounded.
The MCU is no stranger to grounding things in reality. Most of its heroes and villains are based on a somewhat realistic version of science. For example, Thor isn’t actually a Norse God with magic, but an alien with a super science that we perceive as magic. Even Rocket Racoon was made by science. Basing Wakanda in real African culture sounds like the right way to go, and it fits in with well with the rest of the MCU aesthetic…”