“We don’t call him Man-Ape,” executive producer Nate Moore told EW during our set visit. “We do call him M’Baku.”
The problem was self-evident. “Having a black character dress up as an ape, I think there’s a lot of racial implications that don’t sit well, if done wrong,” said Moore. “But the idea that they worship the gorilla gods is interesting because it’s a movie about the Black Panther who, himself, is a sort of deity in his own right.”
Director Ryan Coogler and his co-writer Joe Robert Cole (American Crime Story) borrowed some inspiration for the character from Marvel scribe Christopher Priest, who had an acclaimed 1998-2003 run on the Black Panther series.
“You learn that M’Baku is essentially the head of the religious minority in Wakanda and we thought that was interesting,” Moore said. “Wakanda is not a monolithic place. They have a lot of different factions.”
In Priest’s story line, M’Baku was enraged that his White Gorilla cult was outlawed, leading to a clash with the Panther. The character’s exact role in the film is still being kept under wraps, but the filmmakers confirm that M’Baku and his Jabari tribe are, once again, not happy with the young, new ruler (played by Chadwick Boseman).
“A lot of the writers who did some of the most interesting work around the character, they treated Wakanda like a truly African country,” Coogler said. “When you go to countries in Africa, you’ll find several tribes, who speak their own languages, have their own culture, and have distinct food and way of dress. They live amongst each other, and together they make the identity of those countries. That’s something we tried to capture. We wanted it to feel like a country, as opposed to just one city or town.”
M’Baku has a grievance with T’Challa, but he and his followers were equally unsettled by the previous king, T’Challa’s father T’Chaka — who was assassinated in Captain America: Civil War after trying to engage with the world beyond the closed-off, technological paradise of Wakanda.
“In M’Baku’s worldview, T’Chaka made a huge mistake going to the U.N.,” Moore says. “‘We should never engage with the outside world. That’s a terrible mistake. And if his son is anything like his father, I don’t support him being on the throne.‘”
“Man-Ape is a problematic character for a lot of reasons, but the idea behind Man-Ape we thought was really fascinating. … It’s a line I think we’re walking, and hopefully walking successfully.”
“In this movie, it’s a little tricky to define who’s a [good guy],” Coogler says. “The film very much plays with those concepts, looking at conflicts and different motivations, and who’s with who. M’Baku is a really interesting character, and I’m excited for people to get to see him.”
Idk why people tell me “Oh well the Marvel movies aren’t that good” then proceed to point out all the flaws of it. I don’t care. I’m 16 and depressed. I’m not a movie critic man I’m just here for the fun stuff, leave me alone, Dave
Last week of Inktober! It was hard but I managed to end this year inktober yay!
In other hand, last weekend I get out of my city to a conventions that was a complete failure and my cat broke a lot of stuff in my house, so I’m offering commissions in the style of my inktober to pay for new stuff, you can message me if you are interested. Thanks!
I know Marvel plans on keeping the movies and the Netflix shows separate but there are so many character interactions I want to see. I want to see Steve chastise Jessica’s constant swearing and her basically being like fuck off. I want Luke and Malcolm to meet Sam. I want Danny to bond with Stephen Strange over mystical kung fu. I want Natasha and Frank to meet. I want Peter and Matt to debate over the best roof top parkour routes to take.
She’s not technically family, but she’s just as close. This character played by The Walking Dead‘s Danai Gurira is the head of the Dora Milaje, the all-female special soldiers unit that protects the kingdom (and the king) from harm.
“They are a very powerful force,” she says. “They are not utopic, but what Wakanda has down well is it has allowed people to function within their strengths. These women, their strength is to preserve Wakanda. It’s more like the secret service in a sense that it’s not just military. She is head of intel.”
Okoye has guilt over the death of the previous king, and she’s generally a stoic presence. But she’s not unfeeling. “She can be serious, but she also has an unexpected sense of humor,” Gurira says. “She has a heart, but for her country and for her people. She’s not a person who doesn’t connect to human beings as a result of what she does.”