The upcoming Black Panther movie has made headlines for weeks with news of its casting and filming announcements. After the Black Panther made a brief but memorable appearance in Captain America: Civil War, Marvel fans have eagerly awaited more information about King T’Challa’s upcoming solo film.
While little is known about the actual plot trajectory of Black Panther, recent news about a scene in the upcoming film has been found in an unlikely source.
The East Bay Times, a local newspaper highlighting the news in San Francisco’s East Bay area, posted an article by Erin Baldassari about a local transit bus being featured in an upcoming Marvel movie. Baldassari reports that while Black Panther will be set in King T’Challa’s home country of Wakanda and “must defend his kingdom from destruction by enemy forces,” some of the film will take place in America during a flashback.
“In one scene, [T’Challa] has a flashback to 1990, while he was a student at Saint Mary’s College High School in Berkeley. And of course, he’s a daily AC Transit commuter. Cue the 1990s-era bus for the appropriate establishing shot.”
Audiences will get to see T’Challa as a teenager, decades before he took on the mantle of Black Panther to defend his country in the wake of (spoilers for Captain America: Civil War) his father King T’chaka’s assassination. The inclusion of a local San Francisco bus ties in with Black Panther director Ryan Coogler’s identity as an Oakland native.
An article for Screen Rantoutlined the many ways in which flashbacks to T’Challa’s youth in America could intersect with the canon of the Black Panther comic books.
“In the comics, T’Challa also takes a leave of absence from Wakanda to study abroad in Europe and America. This flashback could be an opportunity for Marvel to work in T’Challa’s alias ‘Luke Charles’ as well.”
As outlined in the official Marvel Universe Wiki, the Black Panther comics depict T’Challa using the alias of ‘Luke Charles’ to remain in America undercover as a teacher before finding romance with singer Monica Lynne. However, this plotline may change in the Black Panther film adaptation. Much like the other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Black Panther movie may depart from the official comic canon.
T’Challa’s studies in America prepare him for his later Ph.D. in physics from Oxford University, which could be depicted in the Black Panther movie as well.
Screen Rant points out that T’Challa’s experiences in America could be formative in other ways. In Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa is reluctant to open Wakanda’s borders or form alliances with other nations, and his past in America could inform that caution.
“Outside of the possible MCU connections that could be made, it will be interesting to find out why T’Challa is sent away and how he embraces America. He is not the biggest fan of leaving the confines of Wakanda in Civil War, and it could be his experience in America as a teenager that makes him further distrust the world.”
In addition to the revelation that the film will feature scenes set in San Francisco, another scene location for Black Panther has been revealed by a casting notice for extras in Atlanta, Georgia. As reported by AJC, the Black Panther movie production team is seeking “men and women, age 25 to 70, of all ethnicities are needed to be in a United Nations scene. They’re looking to cast for diplomats and reporters.”
The last time the Black Panther was depicted in a gathering of the United Nations, he failed to protect his father from being murdered in a bomb explosion. Hopefully, T’Challa’s return to the UN in Black Panther will not be quite as traumatic.
The Black Panther movie will be released February 16, 2018.
[Featured Image by Marvel Studios]