‘Black Panther’ Writer Joe Robert Cole Discusses The Film’s Script & ‘Getting It Right’

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We might have to wait until 2018 for Black Panther to hit theaters but we’re only a few short months away from the character’s big screen debut in the highly-anticipated Captain America: Civil War. We recently got confirmation that Ryan Coogler would be directing and the film’s script is currently being written by Joe Robert Cole.

The writer recently spoke with Mother Jones about the project and discussed the process of joining the team behind the film among a number of other topics. When asked about how he landed the gig, Cole revealed to the site that he actually had previous experience with Marvel, having taken part in their writers program which helped him get his foot in the door.

“Having gone through the [Marvel] writer program, I knew Black Panther was in the pipeline and I knew they were big fans of my writing. But I had to compete with the other writers who were put up for it—no one hands out jobs.

It familiarized Marvel with my work and with me as a person. Being able to interact with [studio president] Kevin Feige and have him know who I am and know me as a person, and be able to then sit down and have a conversation about story with someone who’s familiar and comfortable is invaluable.”

As an African-American himself, Cole is excited about the film and definitely knows that expectations are hight and they have to get this one right. The writer told the site the following regarding the matter.

“Black Panther is a historic opportunity to be a part of something important and special, particularly at a time when African Americans are affirming their identities while dealing with vilification and dehumanization. The image of a black hero on this scale is just really exciting.”

But what about the nation of Wakanda? How do they portray that level of technology without “Westernizing” culture? This is defintiely going to be one of the bigger challenges and the writer is well aware of that. While he wouldn’t reveal any details regarding how they would go about brining Wakanda to life on the big screen, Cole stressed to the site that knows the culture is very important here.

“We’re in the process of figuring many of those things out. I think approaching the movie from a perspective that is rooted in the cultures of the continent is important. In terms of his culture, we’re thinking about where we are locating Wakanda within the continent, and what the people and history of that region are like. It’s a process of investigation to help inform the story at this point. But we are going to be engaged with consultants who are experts on the continent and on African history and politics.”

Finally, the site asked Cole if he thought that some might be turned off to the film due to it featuring a black lead, to which the writer responded that he didn’t “think so” as there is a “huge fan base for the Black Panther comic and for Marvel as a whole. And I think there is great anticipation across the board for the movie. I think that’s how Marvel is approaching it and I know that’s how I’m approaching it. I imagine Ryan feels the same way.” Let us know what you think about Cole’s comments in the section below.

Source: Mother Jones