While Avengers: Infinity War was filmed under intensely secretive conditions, it's common knowledge that Wakanda plays an important part in the most ambitious entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date. After getting to know King T'Challa's homeland in Black Panther—and seeing it go through a crisis of conscience in relation to its position on the global stage—we could not help but wonder if the most technologically advanced nation in the world is prepared for a threat as grand as Thanos and his murderous lieutenants. To find out, we sent our correspondent Markeia McCarty to a recent Infinity War press day in Los Angeles where she sat down with Chadwick Boseman (T'Challa/Black Panther), Danai Gurira (Okoye), and thirstfest Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk) to talk about how Wakanda has changed since we saw it in Black Panther, how Okoye and the Dora Milaje would handle a threat like Thanos, and the existential identity crisis in which Bruce Banner finds himself heading into this dark chapter in the MCU's timeline.
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"Wakanda is very strong in its tradition and its open to growing and evolving and progressing, but it also has to hold onto its roots at the same time," Boseman said of Wakanda's changing politics. "There’s a balance there. Whether or not they’re going to let in refugees, of course that’s insinuated based on the argument between him and Nakia. But it’s going to be on its own terms, and everything it does with the rest of the world is going to be on its own terms because they are a superpower and they have the right to do it however they want to."
Speaking of superpowers, they're going to need them in spades when Thanos and the Black Order invade Wakanda's sovereign lands. But would a character as tempestuous and mercurial as the Hulk ultimately be a help or a hindrance to the Avengers and their allies in this cosmic clash?
"I think he can only be a help," Ruffalo told us. "I think there’s always been a question of whether Banner is a hindrance or a help without the Hulk by himself, and I think we get into answer that in the course of these movies…and maybe we don’t. I think Banner has often wondered what his worth is to the Avengers without the Hulk, and that’s something we get into a bit in Thor [Ragnarok]. I think that carries on throughout at least the next movie. Did that spoil anything?"
Boseman assured Ruffalo that it didn't spoil anything, but you'll have to watch the movie to see for yourself. In the meantime, why not read our spoiler-free review to see what you're in for?
Avengers: Infinity War opens on April 27, 2018.
More on Infinity War!
- A look at the MCU characters, then and now
- Make your own Infinity Gauntlet with these colorful candy stones
- The Avengers sing their own Brady Bunch theme
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