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15 Things You Didn't Know About 'Black Panther'

Get inside the movie in time for the Blu-ray release this week.

15 Things You Didn't Know About 'Black Panther'
Marvel | Disney

Black Panther arrives on Blu-ray and DVD this week, so what better time to revisit the Marvel blockbuster? Currently the second-highest-grossing film of 2018, the third-highest-grossing film ever in the United States, the ninth-highest-grossing film of all time, and the highest-grossing film by a black director, Black Panther is already one of the most successful comic book films ever made. The reasons why are legion.

15 Things You Didn't Know About 'Black Panther'

You know Black Panther is based on the popular Marvel superhero who debuted in Captain America: Civil War. You probably know the film was seen by everyone and their sisters, but here are 20 things you may not know about Black Panther:

1. The name "Wakanda" is inspired by the Wakamba tribe of Kenya, also known as the Kamba. Visually, the country borrowed from two famous waterfalls for its beautiful look: the Iguazu Falls in South America and the Victoria Falls in Africa.

2. Director Ryan Coogler has compared Wakanda to the Congo where the valuable mineral coltan (used in digital products) in being mined.

3. Black Panther co-stars Lupita Nyong'o (Class of '12) and Winston Duke (Class of '13) were students at the Yale School of Drama together. They saw 2012's Avengers together and wondered then about being in a Marvel movie someday.

4. In an interview with Radio Times, Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis discussed being the only white actors on set. Freeman said, "You think, 'Right, this is what black actors feel like all the time.'"

15 Things You Didn't Know About 'Black Panther'

5. Wakanda is first mentioned in Iron Man 2. A S.H.I.E.L.D. monitor pinpoints the country near Lake Turkana, on the borders of Kenya and Ethopia.

6. Michael B. Jordan didn't interact much with the other actors during filming. He viewed his character, Erik Killmonger, as distant, in constant conflict.

7. Gorilla City, home to the Jabari Tribe, was originally set in a rain forest. However, Coogler decided the setting was too obvious and he changed it to a snow-peaked mountain.

8. Look closely and you'll notice most of the people in Wakanda go barefoot, a deliberate decision by the costume department.

9. The Wakandan language is based on Xhosa, the official language of South Africa spoken by over 7 million people.

10. The details of the Wakandan tribes are immense. From IMDb: "The Golden Tribe (the royal tribe) uses a motif of black and purple, and a continental symbol for the sun found throughout Africa. They also have panther-themed designs. The Border Tribe was inspired by Lesotho architecture/language, and uses a motif of blue and wood. They have rhino-themed weapons (attack rhinos, shields and horn-shaped blades). The River Tribe uses a motif of shells and green, and they wear crocodile skins and leather. The Mining Tribe wears lion-themed designs. The Jabari Tribe wears fur and wood to represent their naturalism and to honor their sacred animal — the gorilla."

11. Originally, Wesley Snipes was tapped by Marvel to play Black Panther in the 1990s. He and John Singleton worked on ideas but they disagreed about the setting. Snipes wanted the film set in Africa, and Singleton thought it should be set in the U.S. during the Civil Rights movement.

15 Things You Didn't Know About 'Black Panther'

12. Killmonger's welts on his body are a form of body modification called scarification, a dying tradition of some African tribes used to mark social status or life milestones. KIllmonger uses it to tally all the people he's killed which the filmmakers used to convey the villain's misguided connection to his ancestry.

13. Shuri takes over as the Black Panther in the original Marvel comic book.

14. There's a savvy homage to African military legend Shaka Zulu in Black Panther when Killmonger snaps his spear before the challenge to make it a more versatile weapon. Shaka invented a short, stabbing spear for his warriors to use.

15. Black Panther and Ulysses Klaue make their first comic book appearances in The Fantastic Four, volume one, issue 52.

15 Things You Didn't Know About 'Black Panther'

h/t to IMDb, Wikipedia, and the Black Panther blu-ray special features