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Lupita Nyong'o says Black Panther will subvert superhero movie tropes

With the arrival of the solo BLACK PANTHER movie comes not only T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) but his band of ass-kicking allies – most of whom are women. Women have not had nearly as strong a presence in comic book movies as men have in the past, and when they are on screen they’re usually taken through the same kind of plot points and tropes. According to PANTHER actress Lupita Nyong'o (who plays Nakia), director Ryan Coogler wanted to subvert those tropes and make each female character their own strong, unique being.

Talking to Teen Vogue with fellow PANTHER actress Letitia Wright (who plays Shuri), Nyong’o spoke about how female characters are often made to be rivals in superhero films, but in BLACK PANTHER Coogler made the effort to make sure none of that happens in this movie:

Ryan made a point of avoiding the expected female-rival narrative. In this genre, where spandex is involved, oftentimes the women are pitted against each other. In our story, there are so many different women holding their own space. Women may be in competition with each other, sure, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s an absence of love or respect.

Nyong’o continued and brought up an example by describing the dynamic between Nakia and Shuri:

Shuri is the sister to the Black Panther and the leader of technological pursuits, and Nakia is someone who has a complicated history with the Black Panther and is a warrior in her own right. You see them work together, and you see a dynamic that is really encouraging. Making this film awakened me. I walked away from this experience feeling extremely supported, and I felt challenged.

Another female character who fights alongside Panther is Okoye, played by Danai Gurira, who is the head of the secret-service-like Dora Milaje. Together they will all help Panther take on Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) from trying to take over Wakanda for themselves.

With BLACK PANTHER we’re getting a high volume of new characters into the MCU, which of course comes with the introducing of Wakanda. It’s amazing so many of the characters will be heroic, intelligent women, as the MCU has skewed so heavily male in the past. PANTHER will be the start to a shift in that dynamic, as ANT-MAN & THE WASP will finally show Evangeline Lilly in her superhero duds, and after that comes CAPTAIN MARVEL with Brie Larson in the lead role. What exciting times these are!

BLACK PANTHER hits theaters February 16, 2018.

Source: Teen Vogue

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