The importance of female characters in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

The importance of female characters in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

The importance of female characters in Black Panther

The arrival of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever coincides with the end of the much-discussed Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a parenthesis of the superhero franchise that does not seem to have garnered particular favor with fans. Like other productions of this moment in the saga, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever also addresses the theme of loss and mourning, which in this film is made even more poignant by the death of T’Challa's interpreter, Chadwick Boseman. A mourning that led to a clear revision of the script of the film, allowing to give greater prominence to the female characters in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

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Female characters are central to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the final chapter of Phase Four of the MCU

With the passing of Chadwick Boseman, Marvel Studios did not want to give life to a recast of the character, honoring the memory of the actor and pushing the myth of Black Panther in a new direction. To take this step, it was decided to introduce the disappearance of T'Challa in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, letting this mourning affect the female figures of the Wakandian royal family, Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), Nakia (Lupita Nyong 'o) and Okoye (Danai Gurira), a condition that has led to heighten the importance of the Dora Milaje, who in the absence of the Black Panther must take charge of protecting the African nation from foreign threats.

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It was the right story to tell. These are the characters who have been most affected by T’Challa's death, so let's focus on the right people. It is not about advancing women by overshadowing men, but about telling a story that is organic. I believe that sometimes, perhaps from the outside, there is the belief that there are plans in motion. But it's about telling good stories, and we're lucky to have an incredible cast that brings vitality to these characters and makes you want to find out what happens to Shuri or how Okoye, Lupita or Ramonda are doing. Not highlighting these figures would have been like doing wrong to the story, and I think this improves the film instead. If we had had to insert some new male figure just to give voice to all this, it would have been more forced than telling the story as we did

The director of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Ryan Coogler, is also of the same opinion :

I think M'Baku is much more present in this film than the first Black Panther, probably in a two-to-one ratio, and probably twice as many scenes as we saw him in the first chapter. He's there, but Nate is right, when you lose someone, there's a shared loss, it's like a bomb exploding, and who were the closest people? This is what we have explored. The main characters, their identities were practically wrapped around this man, this is the truth. Every day that Shuri is alive, she has had her brother beside her. When she lost him, what we accomplished by working on the script, and then bringing him to life with the actors, was that he really felt this sense of loss. She identified herself as this man's younger sister, and he was her defender, and she took care of him. When she lost all of this, she felt lost. The worst nightmare you can have is that if something happens to you, the people you love and leave behind may feel lost after you leave. We explored these emotions, and it wasn't a gender-focused approach, but who would be most affected by it. | ); } In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the female figures find themselves having to manage this sense of ineluctable loss, the disappearance of a child, a brother, a friend or a love. However, they will have to deal with this wound by preparing to defend Wakanda from Namor's attack, forcing Ramonda to become queen, suffering mother and protector of a kingdom, while Shuri, in processing the loss of her brother, will have to assume the role of fighter.

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