In Marvel’s Black Panther, Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker plays Zuri, who was an old friend to King T’Chaka (John Kani) and serves as one of T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman) mentors in the film.
While promoting the film, Whitaker discussed how he approached playing Zuri and how his character mourns the passing of T’Chaka:
I think Zuri’s understanding of life and death is quite different. I think that the movie does deal with grieving, because it deals with the grief of T’Challa and his father, the grief that happens from the abandonment of Killmonger. But my character, who is dealing constantly on the ancestral plane as well, dealing with a spiritual understanding, doesn’t grieve because he understands the movement of our consciousness and our spirits as it continues in a continuum of the universe.
Whitaker also explained how the astral plane works within the afterlife as portrayed in the film:
What they’re viewing is their connection to their ancestors that could manifest itself in different terrains and different things. In a way there is no “afterlife” in the perspective of Zuri. Those are all continual things that are continuing to occur, and occurring as we are.
More than any Marvel film prior, Black Panther grapples with themes of history, death and legacy in deeper ways than previously explored in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With T’Challa struggling with following the legacy of his father and the previous Wakanda Kings before him, the film showcases T’Challa’s journey as he grapples with the power of the throne.
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Directed by Ryan Coogler, Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Forest Whitaker, Sterling K. Brown, Andy Serkis and John Kani.
Black Panther follows T’Challa who, after the events of “Captain America: Civil War,” returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to take his place as King. However, when an old enemy reappears on the radar, T’Challa’s mettle as King and Black Panther is tested when he is drawn into a conflict that puts the entire fate of Wakanda and the world at risk.
Black Panther hits theaters on February 16, 2018.
Source: Cinema Blend