After an opening weekend for the ages, it seems likely that we’ll be examining Black Panther for long time to come. However, director Ryan Coogler is getting a jump on everybody else by breaking down one of Black Panther‘s signature action sequences. In this extended video, Coogler explains nearly everything that went into the casino scene from the film’s second act, from the colors worn by the lead performers to some unexpectedly complicated fight choreography.
Coogler made this video for Vanity Fair‘s “Notes on a Scene” series, and he began by explaining the costume choices he made for Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, and Chadwick Boseman. As noted by Coogler, Nyong’o’s Nakia and Gurira’s Okoye are the only characters in the scene wearing green and red, respectively. Taken together with the black suit worn by Boseman’s T’Challa, Coogler intentionally invoked the colors of the Pan-African Flag.
Additionally, Coogler dived into the different fighting styles of Okoye and Nakia while also revealing why Okoye was so offended at the notion of wearing a wig for this undercover assignment. While the scene plays out fairly quickly onscreen, Coogler demonstrated that every move in the fight had a purpose. Nakia and Okoye’s weapons of choice also provided a contrast between a modern Wakandan warrior and a traditional fighter.
Perhaps the most impressive part of this sequence is the way that Coogler moved the camera from the first floor of the casino to the second while following the action on both levels. According to Coogler, pulling that off proved to be a technical challenge, but the end result was one of the most memorable shots of the film.
What did you think about Coogler’s breakdown of this Black Panther scene?