Martin Freeman - Black Panther

Black Panther is a Marvel superhero movie set in an African nation and starring mostly African characters, so that makes Martin Freeman‘s Everett Ross one of the few white characters in the story. Originally introduced in Captain America: Civil War, the icy CIA operative has far more to do in Black Panther…and it’s not initially clear if he’s friend or foe to the people of Wakanda.

In our final interview from last year’s visit to the set of Marvel’s new movie, Freeman talks about what made this set different, playing a morally ambiguous character, and reuniting with Andy Serkis, who he co-starred with in The Hobbit.

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andy serkis interview

Andy Serkis‘ Ulysses Klaue had a bit part to play in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but he’s a more substantial threat in Black Panther.

Like with the rest of our set visit interviews, we didn’t learn too many plot details when we sat down with Serkis. But as you’d imagine, the man behind Gollum, Caesar and numerous other digital and non-digital heroes and villains has a lot to say about bringing a character to life, especially one as nasty as Klaue.

So read on to learn what Klaue has been up since losing a limb in Age of Ultron, how Serkis decided on the character’s accent, and what it’s like to work with director Ryan Coogler.

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Lupita Nyong’o Interview

As a recurring player in the Star Wars movies, Lupita Nyong’o is no stranger to geeky fandom. Apparently, though, Black Panther is on another level entirety. When asked which experience has been more intense, she doesn’t even hesitate – it’s Black Panther.

She’s seen the #BlackPantherSoLit hashtag and the swell of excitement that follows every new announcement. And speaking to us on set last year, she made it clear she’s working hard to live up to the hype, filling us in on the intense training and serious thought that’s gone into becoming the character of Nakia.

She also dropped a few spare hints about Nakia’s dilemma in the film, and the movie’s understanding of its female characters – though she stopped short of revealing too much about the relationships within the movie.

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Black Panther Characters - Michael B. Jordan

Marvel’s veil of secrecy is notorious by now to anyone who even casually follows their productions. Still, it’s not every day you see that veil take physical form.

When we gathered to interview Michael B. Jordan on the set of Black Panther last year, he brought with him a paper outlining exactly what he was and wasn’t allowed to discuss with us. As it turns out, there was quite a lot he couldn’t say. He couldn’t say what Killmonger wanted, for instance, or even how much of his backstory we’d get to see.

What he could tell us was that his Killmonger is a “selfless” sort, less a hero or a villain than a “revolutionary.” Whether T’Challa sees it that way – well, that’s for us to find out when Black Panther opens on February 16.

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Black Panther

In the two years since we met Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, we’ve only grown more eager to get to know him. And when we spoke with Chadwick Boseman on the set of Black Panther in early 2017, he sounded pretty eager to show the world what T’Challa’s made of.

As we saw in Civil War, T’Challa is a hero burdened by grief and responsibility. But Black Panther also shows him as a loving brother, a devoted son, and a loyal friend. He is even, occasionally, a guy who cracks some jokes.

Which suits Boseman just fine. He likes a “challenge” in his projects, he told our group of reporters – and the role of a young conflicted king offers plenty of meat in that regard.

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‘Black Panther’ Set Visit: Everything We Learned on Set

Black Panther Set Visit

Wakanda doesn’t actually exist, and if it did, it’d be located somewhere in Africa. But for a several weeks last winter, it actually set up shop right in Atlanta.

More specifically, it was situated in Pinewood Studios, which is where I and several other journalists found ourselves in February 2017. We’d come to visit the set of Black Panther, which even then felt like one of the most hotly anticipated movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s decade-long history.

We were rewarded with a wealth of information about the film – everything from the inspirations behind the look of Wakanda’s Golden City to some juicy details about the central themes that drive the movie.

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Baby Driver BTS - Edgar Wright and Ansel Elgort

Edgar Wright has the kind of track record any director would envy. His Cornetto trilogy is well loved by fans and critics alike, and at least two-thirds of it has attained “instant classic” status. When he ventured outside his usual wheelhouse with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the result was a dizzying video game-inspired fantasia that felt like nothing we’d seen before or since.

And by all accounts, he’s knocked it out of the park again with Baby Driver, which pushes him into still more new territory. This one, you see, is a high-speed heist film that also happens to be a musical. Kinda. Sorta. It’s complicated. We’ll let him explain.

Last year, we got to chat with Wright on the Atlanta set of Baby Driver, and you can read our full conversation below. In it, Wright discusses his influences, the film’s long journey to the screen, the Atlanta setting, and more.

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Baby Driver - Baby (Ansel Elgort) in mirror

Baby Driver took SXSW by storm this past March, earning such high praise (it’s currently sitting at a perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, with 22 reviews in) that distributor Sony was inspired to bump its release up from a sleepy August weekend to a prime June spot.

But we didn’t know any of that was going to happen in April 2016, when the studio invited us to visit the film’s Atlanta set. All we knew at that time was that Baby Driver was the new Edgar Wright movie – and considering his track record, that in itself felt like reason enough to get excited. And what we learned on set rocketed the film to the top of our most-anticipated list.

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Beauty and the Beast Theme Song Remake

This month, Beauty and the Beast joins Alice in WonderlandSleeping BeautyCinderella, and The Jungle Book on the list of Disney animated features that have undergone live-action makeovers. And over the next few years, that list is only going to grow. It seems like every week brings a major update on yet another Disney fairy tale, and the studio’s already got several dates set aside for these projects through 2019. Let’s take a look at all the Disney live-action remakes in development right now. Read More »

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Logan Cameos

For weeks, the critical buzz on Logan has been that it’s a fitting end to Hugh Jackman‘s 17-year tenure as Wolverine. And now that the film’s actually been out for a few days, and most of you have had a chance to see it, it’s time to talk about how it sends off the iconic superhero character. During a recent press day, I had a chance to sit down with director/co-writer James Mangold and dig deep into the spoilers for this latest and last Wolverine movie.

I won’t say anymore up here, lest I ruin the film for those who haven’t watched it yet. But those of you who have, click through to wade into spoiler territory with Mangold and me.  Read More »