It’s not every day that the year’s biggest domestic box-office hit comes to home video, but this year that day is May 15th. Black Panther is 2018’s biggest hit (for now), and it’s also the highest-grossing entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (domestically, third-highest worldwide). More than a monster hit, though, the movie’s a pretty great piece of entertainment and one well worth owning.
As mentioned, the film lands on Blu-ray/DVD/4K UltraHD on May 15th, and thanks to a cousin who works in the Wakanda post office we’ve gotten our hands on an early copy for review.
Black Panther is as thrilling a watch at home as it is in theaters, and while the lows are still low — Wakanda is so advanced in every way but also they determine their king through one-on-one brawls that favor brawn over wisdom, compassion, and intelligence? — the bulk of the film is bursting with fresh character, personality, and excitement.
As has become the norm for Marvel’s Blu-ray releases, the Black Panther Blu-ray is packed with extras produced for home video… and we watched it all. Keep reading for a look at all of the featurettes, deleted scenes, and more that are coming your way next week.
- Crowning of a New King [5:34] – Kevin Feige may be yanking our chains when he suggests that audiences love the MCU because “all of these films stand apart,” but he’s right in saying Black Panther feels fairly unique. This featurette explores the rise of the character in the film and what holds him and the film apart.
- The Hidden Kingdom Revealed [6:57] – The physical construction of Wakanda is covered here with special focus on the cultural aspects of the fictional country. They pulled dialects and design from throughout the entire African continent to create the population and their world.
- The Warriors Within [6:08] – One of the film’s strengths is seen in its many important female characters, and this featurette explores each of them through brief interviews with Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, and more. There’s no mention as to why women aren’t cut out to lead the country though.
- Wakanda Revealed: Exploring the Technology [6:16] – The role of Vibranium in the MCU — shout out to Captain America’s shield! — is covered here, but the featurette goes beyond that to reveal inspirations for Wakanda’s flying craft, the Kimoyo beads, and more. “Wakanda is a Marvel superhero,” says Winston Duke, “and Vibranium is its superpower.”
- Gag reel [1:38] – We get some line flubs, prop failures, and a lot of on-set dancing.
- Deleted scenes [6:53]
- — UN Meet and Greet [1:33] – This is an exchange that would precede the first end credits scene and sees T’Challa and friends arriving at the UN and meeting Everett Ross before speaking to the members. Ross suggests he not do this and then makes an attempt at speaking Wakandan.
- — Okoye and W’Kabi Discuss the Future of Wakanda [1:45] – The lovers clash after T’Challa’s loss at the falls, and Okoye’s doubts as to defending a warmonger are clear.
- — T’Challa Remembers His Father [1:26] – Immediately following his ceremonial rebirth from the dirt, T’Challa shares some memories of his father with Zuri.
- — Voices From the Past [2:08] – A flashback sees a young T’Challa and Nakia stumble upon the king after he returned from Oakland, and he tells his son that he was forced to make a difficult choice.
- From Page to Screen: A Roundtable Discussion [20:27] – Black Panther comic writers Christopher Priest, Don McGregor, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, the film’s producer Nate Moore, and the film’s co-writers Joe Robert Cole and Ryan Coogler discuss the character’s history including the fairly subversive shock of having a black hero — a wealthy and talented member of royalty no less — make one of his first appearances by singlehandedly defeat the Fantastic Four. Coogler shares his need to visit Africa before moving forward on the film, Moore recalls Marvel’s desire not to simply make Asgard on Earth, and they discuss the importance of female strength and individual identity.
- Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years – Connecting the Universe [8:39] – Whether you love them or not, the Marvel films deserve big kudos for the structure and design of the MCU. The interconnectivity is perhaps the biggest key to their success, and this featurette sees Feige and friends celebrating their genius.
- Exclusive Sneak Peek at Ant-Man and the Wasp [2:26] – Interview snippets are interspersed with footage from the most recent trailer.
- Commentary by Director Ryan Coogler & Production Designer Hannah Beachler – My feature look at this commentary track can be found here, but the short version? It’s an informative and passionate listen.
Black Panther is an MCU movie you’ll be watching more than once — meaning it’s closer to Thor: Ragnarok than Thor: The Dark World — so consider this Blu-ray a wise investment for your viewing future.