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Is BLACK PANTHER the GODFATHER of the MCU?

This weekend, Wakanda will open its borders as Marvel’s Black Panther hits theaters with his first solo film. And if the box office projections hold, then it won’t be the last one! Black Panther has a good shot at becoming one of the biggest hits Marvel has ever had, and that’s on top of the critical acclaim that it has already received. By all indications, director Ryan Coogler and his collaborators have made something special. Today’s Nerdist News is looking at that accomplishment and the way that Black Panther homages at least three unlikely films, including The Godfather.

Join host and ambassador to the Dora Milaje, Jessica Chobot, as she fully explains the parallels between The Godfather and Black Panther. While the Wakandan royal family is a far cry from the mob, we can see that some of T’Challa’s journey may be similar to the path of Michael Corleone. Michael’s fight for respect from his family and outsiders while holding on to his father’s empire isn’t too different from T’Challa’s attempts to keep his country together and fend off a challenge to the thrown.

Coogler has also called Black Panther “the James Bond of the MCU,” and we can definitely see some of that influence in the film’s signature car chase as well as the fantastical devices created by T’Challa’s sister, Shuri. There will also be plenty of chances to show off those gadgets, and T’Challa’s spy game. We’re looking forward to that!

Perhaps the most surprising cinematic influence cited by Coogler was A Prophet, a French film that dealt with secret societies and cultural ties. That movie may inform T’Challa’s numerous roles within his country: king, brother, son, and leader. Wakanda itself could also be described as a secret society, since it has been largely hidden from the world. That seems like a fitting analogy for this film.

What do you think about Black Panther‘s cinematic connections? Let’s discuss in the comment section below!

Images: Marvel Studios

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