Black Panther is a 2018 film in the Earth-11584 continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is the 10th film in Phase 3, and the 25th film overall in the MCU. Chadwick Boseman plays the title character, reprising his role from 2016's Captain America: Civil War. The film is directed by Ryan Coogler, and is noted as having a mostly African-American cast, which is a first for any super hero movie in the modern day. The film was hailed as a masterpiece upon its release, with special attention paid to its cultural significance. At the 91st Academy Awards, the film was nominated for 6 Oscar's, including Best Picture, becoming the first super hero film to achieve that distinction. The film also made over a billion dollars at the worldwide box office, becoming the fifth film in the MCU to do so.
Pre-Production on a Black Panther movie dates as far back as 1992, when actor Wesley Snipes displayed a high amount of interest in starring in and producing a film based on the character. Talks got as far with Columbia pictures that a film entered the very early stages of pre-production, before being shelved in 1997 due to corporate restructuring at Marvel. Eventually Snipes would go on to play the vampire hunter Blade in a trio of movies for New Line Cinema. The possibility of a film still lingered throughout Marvel Studios' inception, with producer Kevin Feige stating that there was a "high probability" that the character would be introduced sometime in Phase 2. After consulting with many different directors, Feige announced in 2016 that Fruitvale Station and Creed director Ryan Coogler would direct and co-write the film.
Chadwick Boseman was tapped to play T'Challa, first debuting in the role in 2016's Captain America: Civil War. Michael B. Jordan, who had also been considered for the part, was instead cast as Erik Killmonger. It was also announced that Clark Gregg and Andy Serkis would reprise their respective roles within the MCU. Lupita Nyong'o was also cast to play Nakia. Filming began in January of 2017, and finished in April of that year.
We begin with narration from Prince N'jobu, telling his son the story of the founding of Wakanda. Millions of Years ago, a large meteorite made of Vibranium struck the continent of Africa and affecting the flora and fauna around it (some even say that it was this impact that helped spur the development of our australopith ancestors into what would become modern day humans). Overtime, this meteorite was buried deep beneath the earth, with a jungle growing over it until it was rediscovered by the ancestors of Wakanda. The five tribes of the time fought over the great mound, until a warrior chieftan named Bashenga ingests a plant called the Heart-Shaped Herb, which grants him superhuman strength, speed and agility. Bashenga united the five tribes into a single nation, but the Jabari tribe eventually rejected his rule and isolated itself in the Mountains. Bashenga assumed the mantle of the Black Panther, the living protector of Wakanda, and overtime the mantle was passed down through the royal bloodlines to the modern day. Using vibranium, the Wakandans were able to create technology far beyond that of their neighbors, but they also grew fearful of outside interference. Over time, they disguised themselves as a primitive nation, hidden away from the world, concealing their great technological advantage, and leaving the rest of the world to deal with their own problems in their own ways...
Flash forward to Los Angeles in 1992. The Rodney King riots are taking place outside, lighting the sky with fire and unrest. Inside an apartment inside a Project Housing Development, a young boy sits watching through the window, as two men are planning a heist in the near future. One of the men, going by the name of Andre, comes over and tells the young boy named Erik to relax. The other man, James, calls him over and tells Andre that they need to finish the planning while the heat from the riots is still on. That this whole thing can take their operations to the next level. Andre says that what they need is more advanced tech, and maybe he should call a friend for that. They are interrupted by the sound of an aircraft close over head, and then a sharp knock at the door. Andre tells Erik to go into the bathroom and not open the door. James checks on the door after they hide their cache of weapons, saying that there were two "weird looking chicks there." They are allowed in when Andre says to unlock the door, and speak in a foreign tongue towards Andre. Andre responds in kind, calling himself N'Jobu and revealing a tattoo underneath his bottom lip. At that moment, a man in the Black Panther outfit comes walking in, staring at N'Jobu. He only says "Baby Brother, we need to talk." before cutting to the Marvel logo and flashing forward to present day.
In a ship flying high over the jungle of what was once Zaire, we see T'Challa watching a news report, covering the nation of Wakanda. According to the reporter, Wakanda is a third world country that has an isolationist foreign policy, refusing all outside aid or help. Despite pressure from the International Community to modernize in the wake of King T'Chaka's death, it is expected (according to the reporter) that the next in line for the throne, Prince T'Challa, will maintain that isolationist philosophy. T'Challa is interrupted from his thoughts by Okoye, who tells him that they have arrived at their destination. She points out the convoy of trucks they are tracking, before allowing T'Challa in his Panther habit to drop out of the ship, firing electronic discs that disable the vehicles below. On the ground, the trucks suddenly stop, and armed soldiers come out, looking for potential attackers. We see a group of young women in the hold of a truck, huddling together as they are held captive. Suddenly the men spot the Black Panther in the treetops and open fire, the bullets harmlessly bouncing off his suit. T'Challa makes short work of the soldiers, until one seizes one of the women as a hostage, and demands he surrender. He is suddenly stabbed from behind by another of the hostages, whom T'Challa identifies as Nakia. She complains of T'Challa interrupting her mission, which causes T'Challa to explain after the momentary shock of seeing his old girlfriend. He says his father has died, and he is to be made king as soon as possible. He tells her he wants her there to support him. Suddenly two of the armed men attack again, only to be taken out by Okoye, who has landed nearby. T'Challa remarks he would have seen them, but Okoye merely smirks at him. She tells the other hostages not to say anything to anyone of this day, as T'Challa, Nakia and she board the ship which flies off, cloaking as it does so.
In London, we see a young black man looking over African artifacts, asking a museum worker to identify them. He explains that one of the artifacts was taken from Wakanda by colonizers, that he was surprised that they got out alive with it, and that it deserves to be taken back to its rightful owners. She no sooner calls for security than Ulysses Klaue and his entourage attack the museum. Klaue marvels at the craftsmanship of the crude weapon, revealing it to be made of Vibranium. He tells the man, whom he identifies as Mr. Stevens, that he's about to be very rich. Back in Wakanda, T'Challa and his entourage arrive back home and are greeted by his mother, Ramonda, and his sister Shuri. Nakia is taken to the River Tribe to prepare for the coronation ceremony the next day, while T'Challa and Shuri engage in friendly banter over the devices that she had prepared for him. Ramonda explains that she is honored and proud of her son and the man he has become, knowing he will become a great king.
The following day, T'Challa takes part in a ritual to crown him as the new king of Wakanda. He is given the antidote to the Heart-Shaped Herb, stripping him of his powers as the Black Panther. A call is then issued to the four tribes of Wakanda to offer a challenge to the throne. None accept, however T'Challa is then challenged by M'Baku, the head of the Jabari tribe from the mountains, who wishes to rule Wakanda in the name of his forefathers. T'Challa accepts the challenge to yield or death, and the two fight on the side of a cliff near a waterfall. At first overwhelmed by M'Baku's sheer strength, T'Challa rallies and gets him in a choke hold near the edge of the cliff. He tells M'Baku to yield, as his people need him, and eventually the Jabari leader does. T'Challa is then officially crowned king by Zuri, the High Priest of Wakanda. A few hours later, T'Challa is given another of the Heart-Shaped Herbs, restoring his powers. In the trancelike state he enters, he sees an image of his father, and asks him if he will be a good king. His father simply replies that a good king is judged by history, and that all he can be in the present day is a good man.
Elsewhere, we see Ulysses Klaue and Erik Stevens flying in a charter jet. Klaue is fiddling with his mechanical arm, which replaced the one Ultron cut off a few years earlier, remarking that the craftsmanship on it is astounding even by Wakandan standards. Stevens asks Klaue how he came by all that Vibranium the robot dude used, and Klaue tells the story in flashback. He had been given a tip about a shipment from the mine near the border of Wakanda, and acted upon it with a strike team of mercenaries. In order to plan his escape, he set off a bomb near the homes of the Border Tribe, killing several. He escaped, but not before getting branded as a thief by a Wakandan whom he later shoots in the back. Stevens says when he first found out about Wakanda, he thought it was just a story to make his people feel better about themselves. Then he realized it wasn't a happy story, it was a selfish one. They are interrupted by a message on Klaue's laptop, with Klaue saying they have found a buyer for their little item, and that Mr. Stevens is about to become a very rich man.
On his tour of the kingdom, T'Challa is joined by Nakia, who asks for permission to return to the War Dogs underground and to return to her work. T'Challa explains that he needs her here, but Nakia says she is needed elsewhere, explaining that the stuffy royal protocol is exactly why she shouldn't be stuck here. T'Challa genuinely asks what he should do for her, and she says Wakanda should open itself to the outside world, to offer humanitarian aide and technology to the world. T'Challa almost immediately dismisses this, saying that his father's attempts at outreach and restitution for Sokovia were responded with by an assassination and scorn from the outside world. Barring that, Nakia responds, she again asks for her release to continue her own humanitarian mission. T'Challa responds he'll think about it, before the two of them arrive at the Border Tribe, meeting with T'Challa's childhood friend W'Kabi. The discussion on outside influence over Wakanda's culture comes up, with W'Kabi explaining that exposing themselves to the outside world threatens their cultural distinctiveness and losing their identity as a people. Nakia simply doesn't believe that is true, and that Wakanda may be able to benefit as much as the rest of the world from a cultural exchange. T'Challa considers both positions, but again agrees with W'Kabi that the risks outweigh the rewards, and that he must do what is right for Wakanda. They are interrupted by General Okoye, contacting them via holoprojector, who explains that a person of interest has just appeared on their radar.
In the throne room, Okoye explains that Ulysses Klaue has finally appeared out of hiding, after stealing a piece of vibranium from a London museum with a new accomplice by the name of Erik Stevens. The appearance of Stevens causes Zuri to flinch, but nobody else seems to notice. Okoye explains that their intelligence places Klaue in Busan in three days, where he will sell the artifact to an anonymous buyer. T'Challa resolves to capture Klaue and bring him to justice. W'Kabi offers to help, seeing as how his father was killed by Klaue by being shot in the back after branding him. T'Challa doesn't want to cause a scene, so he elects to take a smaller task force including himself, Okoye and Nakia, who is somewhat annoyed at being volunteered for the mission, but accepts it nonetheless. T'Challa then travels to Shuri's laboratory, where she shows him the new technology she has been working on, including a remote driving system for vehicles, wireless communication devices the size of a thumbtack, and additional upgrades to the Black Panther suit, making it nano-tech based in its deployment. T'Challa takes the new technology with him to Busan.
In South Korea, T'Challa and his associates infiltrate the underground casino where the deal with Kluae is supposed to take place. However Okoye and Nakia quickly find that there are several other people their that shouldn't be there. T'Challa identifies them as SHIELD, and he is approached from behind by Agent Phil Coulson. Coulson asks T'Challa what exactly he is doing there, and T'Challa doesn't really respond other than to say that he is here to capture or kill Klaue. Coulson says that SHIELD can't condone an unsanctioned hit, even on a criminal, in another sovereign nation. T'Challa replies that Coulson really doesn't want to try and stop them. They are interrupted by Klaue, minus Erik Stevens, who comes waltzing in as if he owns the place. He meets with the "buyer", another undercover SHIELD agent, but quickly deduces that the whole thing is a setup. He and his goons immediately start shooting up the casino, causing the SHIELD agents and the Wakandans to fight them off as Klaue makes his flamboyant escape. Okoye and Nakia take after him while T'Challa is held up trying to save Coulson, and in the end T'Challa is forced to comandeer a car which Shuri remotely drives back in Wakanda to try and catch Klaue. The three cars chase each other throughout Busan, with Klaue using his arm cannon (the replacement for the arm that was cut off in Age of Ultron) to try and take out his pursuers. Eventually T'Challa catches up to Klaue and takes out his car, causing him to crash in the middle of a public square. Before T'Challa can kill him though, he is stopped by Agent Coulson, as well as Okoye who tells him there are too many people watching at the moment. T'Challa relents and SHIELD takes Klaue into custody.
At a local police station, Klaue is held under close watch as Coulson and T'Challa work out what will happen to him. Coulson says that SHIELD has had Wakanda under surveillance for a number of years, but that as far as they knew they had no kind of technology like this. Okoye intercedes, saying that Wakanda does not fall under the jurisdiction of SHIELD, which Coulson replies that they might not, T'Challa by his signature on the Avengers Protocol technically does. T'Challa calmly responds that they will allow Coulson to question Klaue, but that he will then be taken to Wakanda to stand trial for the murder of several tribe members decades ago. Coulson agrees to this, provided that T'Challa lets him take a closer look at that suit of his. T'Challa agrees, although he tells Okoye and Nakia in Wakandan that he has no intention of letting Coulson see anymore of their technology. Coulson enters the interrogation room and asks Klaue about his arm cannon, which causes Klaue to explain a bit more about Wakanda, referring to it as the legendary city of El Dorado. He explains Vibranium is the most versatile substance in the world, and that Wakanda has been the only major source of it. Coulson admits that's not entirely true, but presses on with more of an explanation. Before Klaue can say more, Nakia is sent in by T'Challa, who had been listening in, breaking up the interrogation. Coulson asks the Wakandans what more they are hiding when there is an explosion outside.
Unbeknownst to the security present, Erik Stevens had hijacked a van and blown an opening in the precinct with C-4. He lays down small arms fire and gas grenades in the area, breaking Klaue free and bringing his arm cannon with them. In the ensuing firefight, both Coulson and Nakia are hit by stray bullets. T'Challa goes running after the pair, but cannot catch them after a blast from Klaue's cannon. He does notice a special ring dangling from a necklace on Stevens' neck. Putting that out of his mind, he goes back to Nakia as Okoye using a kimora bead to stabilize her. He instructs her to do the same for Coulson and takes them both onto a ship he calls, telling Shuri via radio to be prepared for casualties. The ship takes off, cloaking as it does, but elsewhere we see Stevens and Klaue looking at a tracking device, seemingly watching it fly off. The two make for an airport, Klaue remarking there's more than one way to get rich.
Back in Wakanda, after flying through the shield device over the capital city, Shuri receives both Nakia and Coulson, healing them both with relative ease and placing the bullets in a suspended chamber for later study. W'Kabi comes to the lab, looking for an update on Klaue. Upon learning that T'Challa had Klaue slip through his fingers, he lambasts his king for putting his own needs ahead of the needs of the nation. T'Challa asks W'Kabi what he would have done in his place, and W'Kabi merely responds he would have done his duty to the nation and his people, before storming off. T'Challa thinks for a moment, before going to Zuri, eager to find out about the ring that the mystery man had carried with him. Nearby, we see a plane approaching Wakanda. Using Stark stealth technology, the plane cloaks itself briefly, and then flies through the cloaking shield at the same vector as T'Challa's craft. The aircraft lands near the vibranium mine, and Erik Stevens gets out. He climbs into a nearby Wakandan craft when no one is looking, calling to Klaue to start the invasion.
In the grove of the Heart-Shaped Herb, Zuri is reluctant to tell the story, but is eventually ordered to do so by his king. Zuri explains, as we flashback to the scene from the beginning of the film, that he was a member of the War Dogs in his youth, assigned to watch over Prince N'Jobu, T'Challa's uncle and the younger brother of the king, as he went under cover in America. Zuri explains that N'Jobu became radicalized by the plight of African American youth in America and around the world, and wanted to start a revolution with Wakanda at its head. We see T'Chaka in the past, confronting his brother over these beliefs, before explaining about the stolen vibranium taken by Ulysses Klaue, explaining that someone had shown him the way into Wakanda and allowed him to kill several members of the Border Tribe. N'Jobu eventually admits his guilt, and promises to come quietly so long as he is allowed one favor. T'Chaka says he will consider it when they get to Wakanda. N'Jobu starts to insist and attacks the king, causing Zuri to immediately act and defend his sovereign. In the ensuing struggle, T'Chaka is forced to kill N'Jobu. T'Chaka demands Zuri come with them, not telling anyone about this. In the present, T'Challa asks what the favor N'Jobu wanted from his father. Zuri is again hesitant to say, but T'Challa nearly slaps him over the hiding, causing Zuri to reveal that N'Jobu had married an American woman, and had a son named Erik. The scene cuts back to the apartment in Los Angeles, as the young Erik opens the bathroom and is shocked to see his father dead on the floor. He looks up at the Black Panther, frightened but angered, and charges after him. One of the Dora Milaje gently knocks the boy out. Zuri asks that the boy be taken back to Wakanda, to be raised as if he were his own. T'Chaka denies his request, saying the boy must remain here, and that the secret must remain hidden, lest it weaken the strength of the throne and the nation. In the present day, T'Challa is incensed at what Zuri and his father did.
Outside, W'Kabi is approaching his home with the border tribe, when he sees a force approaching from the forest. Calling his troops to him, he sees Ulysses Klaue at the head of a group of mercenaries approaching the border with Wakanda. The Border Tribe attack, easily routing the mercenaries. Suddenly the aircraft from before circles around, flanking Klaue and staring down the Border Tribe guardsmen. Klaue acts high and mighty, issuing demands for vibranium to be brought before them. In the cockpit though, Stevens calls out to W'Kabi, pronouncing himself as N'jdaka, the son of N'jobu and a rightful claimant to the throne. Klaue is stunned, and tries to cast doubt, calling Stevens an American dog. Stevens ignores his words and says he has brought Klaue here to face justice for what he had done, and to make amends for what his father had done. W'Kabi smiles, and Klaue is taken prisoner by the Border Tribe.
Back in Shuri's lab, we see Coulson slowly wake up from his procedure. He turns and sees Shuri and Nakia reviewing video footage recovered from the Wakandan aircraft of Klaue's escape. He makes his presence known, and Shuri jokingly refers to this as being "Kansas" when Coulson speaks of this being Wakanda. Coulson takes in the lab and its equipment, paying close attention to the monorails in the mines below, carrying vibranium. When he comments that now he sees why this was all kept secret, T'Challa enters the room and says it will remain a secret in exchange for his life. Coulson tries to get a word in edgewise, but T'Challa ignores him and speaks with Shuri and Nakia in Wakandan, relaying a small bit of what he had just learned. Coulson finally interrupts them when he says he knows the figure on the screen, identifying him as Erik Stevens, a former Black Ops soldier for the CIA who went by the nickname of Killmonger. Before he can explain more, T'Challa is called to the throne room, and is followed by Nakia and Shuri. When they get there, they see Okoye standing beside W'Kabi and Stevens, with Klaue at their feet in chains. W'Kabi explains that this man had succeeded where T'Challa had failed, and perhaps he should be the one to lead Wakanda into the future. T'Challa confronts Stevens, who simply responds with a "Hey cousin..." The Queen Mother, Ramonda, interjects as a matter of principle, saying that the challenges were already met. Stevens replies that he just wants a chance to claim his birthright, the same chance that has been denied to all of his countrymen around the world. T'Challa accepts Stevens' challenge, despite Shuri's pleas otherwise. That evening near sunset, on the cliffside battle place again, T'Challa is once more stripped of his powers as the Black Panther. The fight between he and Stevens is a brutal one, with T'Challa nearly victorious. However, doubt about his abilities catches up with him, as he again attempts to get Stevens to yield. Killmonger refuses, and stabs T'Challa through the stomach before throwing him down the side of the waterfall. Zuri proclaims N'Jadaka as the new king of Wakanda, reluctantly.
Shuri, Nakia and Ramonda quickly make their way back to Shuri's laboratory, grabbing some equipment and Phil Coulson along the way. They explain the situation to Coulson and conceal his identity when Okoye and the rest of the Dora Milaje come looking for him under orders of the new king. Okoye allows them to pass, though it seems she knows what they are concealing. They make their way to the Grove of the Heart-Shaped Herb under orders from Ramonda, allowing Nakia to sneak into the ceremony where N'Jadaka is getting the powers of the Black Panther. We cut to the ritual, seeing Zuri give the substance to the new king. N'Jadaka travels to the ancestral realm in his dreams, seeing his apartment in Los Angeles and the spirit of his father. After listening to his father tell him about the wonders of Wakanda, N'Jadaka disagrees with him, saying that Wakanda hasn't been great...but that it will be now. When he awakes, he recognizes Zuri as his "Uncle James" from his childhood, and promptly grabs a nearby blade and stabs him with it, saying he should have fought harder for him. Nakia grimaces at the sight, but sneaks off with one of the Heart-Shaped Herbs, taking it back to the waiting trio. When asked what their plans are, Shuri volunteers to take the Herb herself, which Ramonda immediately dismisses, saying she has lost one child to that monster, she won't lose another. She offers it to Nakia, and Nakia also declines, saying there's only one person who can help them. They look up in the distance, seeing the mountain home of M'Baku and the Jabari shrouded in the mists.
Back in Wakanda, N'Jadaka holds court in the throne room as T'Challa had done before. He asks where Shuri is with information on their technology, and Okoye explains that Shuri and the American have gone missing. N'Jadaka disregards the report and says that the isolationist policies of Wakanda are going to be reversed. The world is going to soon become the conquerers and the conquered again, and it is their job to make sure their people come out on top this time. He orders that Wakandan weapons begin being shipped to War Dogs spies throughout the world. Despite the objections of Okoye, W'Kabi wholeheartedly backs the plan, saying that T'Challa's indecisiveness will soon be forgotten.
The fugitive quartet approach the throne room of the White Gorilla, M'Baku. The Jabari leader laughs at them for how the high and mighty have fallen. He says that for years the Jabari have been looked down upon by the rest of Wakanda, just because they stuck to the older ways. And now...for all the technology and all the advantages they have, they still come crawling to him for help. Coulson tries to explain the situation, but is quickly shouted down, as is Shuri. Eventually it is Nakia who diplomatically asks M'Baku for his aide, handing him the Heart Shaped Herb. M"baku regards it for a moment, before handing it back, saying that it is not for him, but for someone else. He leads them to a small hut near the palace, and reveals T'Challa, buried in the snow, barely clinging to life. M'Baku explains that the fishermen found him floating down the river, and that he has spared his life in exchange for T'Challa's act of mercy from before. He tells them there can only be one true king of Wakanda, and that the Herb belongs to him. Queen Ramonda grinds the herb up and feeds it to T'Challa, hoping that it revives him. Inside the Ancestral Realm, T'Challa confronts his father and his ancestors for hiding away from the world, letting their fear dictate their actions. He tells them he will not fade into history with them, and that he will take Wakanda in a different direction. T'Chaka councils that it is unwise, that fear will grip the people for such a radical change. T'Challa says that Wakandans are brave people, and that bravery is standing up for what is right, in spite of your fear. In the real world, T'Challa suddenly wakes up to the delight of all. Shuri returns his Black Panther armor to him, to fight again. T'Challa asks M'Baku for the Jabari to stand with him to free their country. M'Baku considers this, and agrees, only if he gets a seat at the table that should be rightfully his anyway. T'Challa also agrees. Coulson says if they have a cellphone, he can get air support from SHIELD in a few hours, but T'Challa says this is an internal matter, but Coulson is welcome to help from within. Shuri and Nakia also agree to fight by T'Challa's side.
N'Jadaka and W'Kabi inspect the mines and weapons being loaded onto transports, saying that they will begin shipments to Los Angeles, Hong Kong and New York first, while "convincing" the reluctant War Dogs factions to see things their way. However, the first transport is shot down by an incoming craft, which also crashes to the ground. N'Jadaka is amazed to see T'Challa, clad in his Black Panther suit, emerging from the wreckage, saying that he survived and thus the challenge for the throne is still valid. Killmonger disagrees, and orders the rest of the delivery craft in the air, with W'Kabi and the Border Tribe to kill T'Challa. Okoye and the rest of the Dora Milaje oppose this, telling W'Kabi he has always stood for the traditions of Wakanda if nothing else. W'Kabi says nothing, and instead orders his Border Tribe to advance. The Dora Milaje advance against Killmonger, who dons his own Black Panther suit and begins fighting with her.
Meanwhile, inside Shuri's laboratory, a few Jabari guards, Shuri, Nakia and Coulson infiltrate and gain access to weapons before joining the fight outside. Coulson stays behind and takes control of a remote flying device, taking control of a Wakandan craft to take out the delivery ships while the Jabari stand guard over him. Shuri and Nakia join the Dora Milaje against Killmonger, as T'Challa fights his way through the Border Tribe as best he can. Killmonger eventually gets the best of Shuri and Nakia, nearly killing the latter before T'Challa launches himself from several feet away, tackling Killmonger into the pit below and through the Vibranium mine. Elsewhere, a fluctuation in power lowers the shield in the prison cell holding Ulysses Klaue, who manages to escape and head down a hallway. Outside, W'Kabi and his Border Tribe are routing Okoye and the Dora Milaje, until the remainder of the Jabari forces arrive, led by M'Baku, turning the tide of the battle. Eventually, W'Kabi and his tribesmen are forced to surrender. Coulson is making headway at shooting down the remaining delivery ships, when he hears a commotion and sees Klaue killing the Jabari guards. Klaue spots him and heads for the remote delivery system. Klaue is intercepted by Shuri, who had made her way to her lab as quickly as she could to help Coulson, and is eventually taken out by the princess of Wakanda and her sonic disruptors.
In the Great Vibranium Mound, Killmonger and T'Challa fight with each other, the latter saying that they will open Wakanda to the outside world. Killmonger says it's not just about that, it's about how his life was ruined and how everything was taken away from him and his people while T'Challa had everything. T'Challa comments that Killmonger is not the only one to have felt loss, but that this violence will not be the way to regain it. The fight continues until Shuri is surreptitiously told to activate the monorail below. The sonic stabilizers there make it so that the nano-armor of the Black Panther suits are so to react, giving T'Challa just enough time to stab Killmonger in the chest with a blade. T'Challa takes N'Jadaka to the entry of the cave, so that he could witness a Wakandan sunset, where N'Jadaka forcefully removes the blade from his body, succumbing to the wound rather than be captured and "live in bondage."
Afterwards we see Klaue being locked back up in a prison cell, his arm removed and him yammering to himself about vengeance coming soon. W'Kabi joins him in the cell next door, but remains defiant and optimistic about something yet to happen. T'Challa and Nakia agree to give their relationship another try, and T'Challa commits Wakandan resources to the rest of the world. Coulson says SHIELD will be in touch, and he promises to keep the director away from their more advanced technology. The film ends in the UN, with T'Challa, Coulson, Shuri and Nakia entering the General Assembly. T'Challa gives a speech about the betterment of the human race and helping one another, rather than fighting amongst each other. A UN delegate scoffs at the idea of a nation of "people in funny hats" helping the rest of the world, which causes T'Challa and Shuri to stare at each other knowingly as the film ends.
[We fade on a small hut in Wakanda, the camera remaining stationary as a man dressed in Wakandan garb exits the thatched house and grabs a nearby pitchfork to toss some hay. We see it is Bucky Barnes, awakened from his cryogenic sleep and seemingly content, as Okoye and Shuri slowly approach from the camera angle towards him. Cut to them reaching Bucky.]
Okoye: Sgt. Barnes, how are you feeling today?
Bucky: Please...just call me Bucky. And I'm feeling pretty good actually.
Shuri: I am pleased to see there are no lasting effects from the treatment.
Bucky: None so far.
Okoye: Good...because it appears we have use for you.
[Bucky throws down the pitchfork and sighs.]
Bucky: Why can't I just live in peace?
Shuri: Sometimes the peace has to be defended and earned before it can be enjoyed. This appears to be one of those times.
[Shuri reaches down and pulls out a case, opening it to reveal a new Vibranium arm similar to the one the Winter Soldier once had.]
Shuri: Wakanda and the world has need of the White Wolf once more.
Bucky: ...Sure why not.
[He closes the case and heads off with the two of them as we cut to black.]
Summary of Changes
- Less emphasis is given to the spiritual aspect of the founding of Wakanda, giving the name of the chieftain who became the first Black Panther. Erik also is inside the apartment when the confrontation between T'Chaka and his brother happens, as he witnesses the whole thing from inside the bathroom.
- Likewise, the scene takes place in the backdrop of Los Angeles during the Rodney King riots.
- Nakia is rescued from the jungles in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, rather than Nigeria.
- Erik has no girlfriend in this film, and appears to be working as more of a direct partner with Klaue than as a hired henchman.
- As there is no Everett Ross in this film universe, the role and actions are taken up by SHIELD agent Phil Coulson instead. It is revealed that SHIELD was at least marginally aware of Wakanda's level of development, but not fully aware as Coulson admits.
- Klaue travels with Stevens to Wakanda, as their plan involves taking another shipment of Wakandan vibranium rather than just the one piece that is taken. As a result, Stevens captures Klaue alive and brings him to Wakanda to be jailed. There is a scene in the end where Klaue threatens Coulson and is defeated again by Shuri, leading him to being locked up permanently by the end of the film.
- Zuri is killed in the Grove of the Heart-Shaped Herb. This Grove is also not burned down in the film, leaving it available for future films.
- There is openly discussion of making Shuri the next Black Panther when it is thought T'Challa is dead.
- M'Baku and the Jabari tribe appear in the Battle of the Vibranium Mound at the very beginning, rather than appearing halfway through.
- There is never a mention of a relationship between W'Kabi and Okoye, and W'Kabi is seen in prison at the end of the film.
- The mainline post-credits scene in the UN becomes the closing scene here. Stan Lee cameos as the delegate who is dismissive of Wakanda's technological advancements.
- Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa/Black Panther- The crown prince of Wakanda who, upon his father's death, assumes the mantle of Black Panther and King of Wakanda. He derives special powers from both his Vibranium suit and from the properties of the Heart-Shaped Herb.
- Michael B. Jordan as Erik "Killmonger" Stevens/N'jadaka- The son of Prince N'Jobu and the cousin of T'Challa, who, after a stint in the United States Military, became a gun for hire and seeks the throne of Wakanda.
- Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia- The former girlfriend of T'Challa, and a member of the Wakandan Special Forces known as the War Dogs, who perform undercover operations for the Wakandan government.
- Danai Gurira as Okoye- The head of the Dora Milaje, the special guard of protectors for the throne of Wakanda.
- Clark Gregg as SHIELD Agent Phil Coulson- A special agent for SHIELD who is sent to investigate Ulysses Klaue's involvement with the Sokovia incident.
- Winston Duke as M'Baku- The leader of the Jabari tribe of Wakanda, who shun the technological advancements of their countrymen. He is also a rival to the throne of T'Challa.
- Daniel Kaluuya as W'Kabi- A member of the King's Personal Council, and close confidant of T'Challa.
- John Kani as Zuri- The head priest of Wakanda, and the guardian of the Heart-Shaped Herbs. Atandwa Kani, John Kani's son, plays a younger version of Zuri in a flashback.
- Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue- An arms dealer who once stole vast amounts of Wakandan vibranium.
- Letita Wright as Shuri- The sister of T'Challa, and the head scientific researcher for Wakandan technology.
In Addition, Forest Whitaker reprises his role as T'Chaka, the father of T'Challa, in the ancestral realm. Forest's son, Denzel Whitaker, plays a younger version of T'Chaka in a flashback. Angela Bassett plays Ramonda, T'Challa's mother. Sterling K. Brown plays N'Jobu, the brother of King T'Chaka. Sebastian Stan cameos near the end of the film as the Winter Soldier. Stan Lee cameos as a UN delegate at the end of the film, who laughs at the prospect of the "nation of people in funny hats" doing anything for the world.
The film was nearly universally acclaimed upon its release, with special attention given to its groundbreaking nature of feature a nearly all African-American cast, a rarity for a tentpole blockbuster. According to the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, Black Panther scored a 97% based on 408 reviews with an average score of 8.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads ""Black Panther elevates superhero cinema to thrilling new heights while telling one of the MCU's most absorbing stories—and introducing some of its most fully realized characters." Special notice was given to the performance of Michael B. Jordan as the villain Killmonger, with many calling it the best villain in the entire MCU. The rare criticism was aimed at the seemingly lackluster special effects in the film's climactic scenes.
The film became a box office smash, to date ranking as the top grossing film in North America for 2018. The film earned a staggering $242.1 million dollars over the 4-day President's Day weekend, shattering the all-time opening record for that holiday. The film would go on to gross over $700 million in North America alone, only the third film in history to achieve that milestone behind Avatar and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The film would ultimately gross 1.346 billion dollars at the worldwide box office, becoming the fifth film in the MCU to reach the billion dollar milestone, and the first since Iron Man 3.