Actor Daniel Kaluuya says that Marvel's upcoming Black Panther epic stands favorably next to HBO's high fantasy behemoth.
Speaking with GQ, Kaluuya -- who stars in the current horror sensation Get Out and is part of the stunning cast for T'Challa's first solo screen adventure -- was asked about the latter project and how he thought it was coming together. His response:
"This is an African blockbuster, bruv. This is like Game of Thrones. This is crazy. And (director) Ryan Coogler is just, man dem. He's like us! He's a normal dude, in a Golden State hat and a Tupac T-shirt directing the whole set. It's the most beautiful thing to see."
So how exactly is Black Panther similar to the epic saga of the Iron Throne? Kaluuya doesn't get into detail (Marvel has eyes and ears on all its cast members to make sure they don't spill too much), but we can make a few educated guesses. For one, Black Panther is probably epic in scope -- in fact, based on the concept art we've seen, that's almost a certainty.
Second, there's possibly a rich backstory for the nation of Wakanda that involves some amount of myth, folklore and mysticism; and third, there might be quite a bit of political intrigue and betrayal as T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) struggles to defend his throne from enemies within and without.
On the real-life side of the equation, there's a skilled moviemaking machine behind the film, a cast that is incredibly deep in terms of talent, and a singular vision steering the project in the shape of Ryan Coogler, who also co-wrote the script and has two outstanding features (Fruitvale Station and Creed) on his resume already.
Game of Thrones has taken risks with the fantasy template since the start, grounding it in a visceral sense of reality and infusing the story with unabashedly adult themes and events. Black Panther, from what we can glean, aims to take the superhero narrative and run it through the lens of the African experience, hopefully paying off in a bold and exciting way. We, like Kaluuya, think that could be a beautiful thing.
Black Panther -- starring Boseman, Kaluuya, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Forrest Whitaker, Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis -- opens on February 16, 2018.