Wakanda opened up its doors — and trouble stepped through.
Black Panther introduced moviegoers to the fictional African nation of Wakanda, a place that was simultaneously technologically advanced and steeped in tradition, choosing to isolate itself from the rest of the world rather than deal with the planet’s other conflicts and chaos.
Now, Wakanda has decided to become a world player, and in Avengers: Infinity War its capital becomes a frontline battleground to save the universe. That’s good for Earth (and other denizens of the galaxy), but not so good for Wakandans who prefer peace and quiet.
“The preservation of Wakanda has been at their core, and something their forefathers and foremothers put in place for a long time — and it’s worked!” says Danai Gurira, who plays Okoye, the head of Wakanda’s security and chief of the Dora Milaje secret service. “They’re a deeply prosperous people for a reason, and now it’s about opening up the borders, and being generous to others beyond Wakanda.”
The man who plays Black Panther, King T’Challa himself, says Wakanda will become the key to synching up the disparate other aspects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“Each movie has a different style, you know?” Chadwick Boseman says. “So, what is a Captain America movie, versus an Iron Man movie, versus the Black Panther movie, and how do you bring those things together? They’re different voices. So, how do those voices harmonize?”
Now we know: with a little help from the land of Vibranium.
Other Marvel heroes are eager to pay a visit. Robert Downey Jr. says Iron Man’s Tony Stark would see Wakanda as an inspiration.
“Well, a technologically advanced country is probably something that he wishes would benefit humanity without creating more infighting,” Downey says. “I think that’s what he would hope for America. That’s what he would hope for the world. I think to him, he would view it as a potentially utopian model.”
Spider-Man is also looking forward to getting his visa approved, mostly because actor Tom Holland thinks Peter Parker and Letitia Wright’s Shuri would become fast friends.
“I think Peter would love it. There’s some great moments in the comics where Peter ends up there,” he said. “And Letitia and I have become really good friends over the last year and a bit. It would be brilliant to have our characters meet up, it would be so funny. She’s brilliant in the movie, she’s actually my favorite part of Black Panther.”
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige promises Wakanda will become a major presence in the upcoming Phase IV series of films, agreeing it will become an “anchor point” for future stories.
“That’s the grand Marvel Studios/MCU tradition of just being all in, right?” he said.
In other words: Wakanda forever.