As the 10th highest-grossing film in history, Black Panther has laid forth a narrative that is certainly hard match. While the film highlighted T'Challa's tempestuous rise to the throne, it was hard to ignore the kick-ass strength of the film's female cast, in particular the film's all-female army, the Dora Milaje. A new Black Panther behind-the-scenes video about the female warriors shows just what it takes to become a fearless member of the Wakandan kingdom, and these women are certainly not to be messed with.
The exclusive Marvel Entertainment clip — which features several snippets of cast members Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong'o, and Letitia Wright along with other members of the Dora Milaje in training for the critically-acclaimed film — highlights some the grueling work which was put into creating the combat scenes in the breakout movie.
It seems that the female strength showcased in the film, on Digital May 8 and Blu-ray May 15, is exactly how Black Panther writer and director Ryan Coogler planned it out. Long before the film's release, Coogler revealed that the all-female crew were "the most elite fighters in the country," during a 2017 interview with Entertainment Weekly.
While it goes without saying that the women of Black Panther are, without a doubt, some of the most badass women to ever grace the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the work that these actors have put into owning their roles as African warriors is simply awe-inspiring. It was a feature that was hard to ignore throughout the film's narrative with the Dora Milaje serving as the Kingdom of Wakanda's first line of defense, protecting the throne at all costs.
In the 39-second snippet, Gurira, who portrays the head of the Dora Milaje, Okoye, explained how the behind-the-scenes training helped to give fans such an authentic experience. She shared:
"Stunt training is so great because you have to learn a way of combat and a way of movement that is really going to look and feel like someone who knows what the heck they're doing."
Letitia Wright, who played Shuri, T'Challa's technologically savvy and brave younger sister, revealed the demanding schedule that the actors would face on a day to day basis. She explained, "We would do stunt training everyday. With the girls who are playing the Doras – it was tough, it was hard."
Meanwhile, Academy Award winning actor Lupita Nyong'o, who played Nakia, an undercover spy and love interest of T'Challa, shared some insight into her character's combat method, sharing, "Nakia's style of fighting is like by any means necessary." Towards the end of the clip, the stunt trainers explain that had been teaching Nyong'o how to "throw guys who are twice her size" throughout out the session.
Of Nakia's fighting skills, Coogler told Vanity Fair: "She'll use any weapon, anything that she can get her hands on. She fights dirty. She fights aggressive. She's a spy who had to learn to make due with what she has." Coogler continues to explain his process of turning "the idea of femininity on its head" by using Nakia's stiletto heel as a weapon during one on the major fight scenes in the movie.
During the Marvel Entertainment clip, Gurira pointed directly to the beauty of seeing a representation of the fierce, strong and badass women in Black Panther, saying, "We're able to find a beautiful grace in these women and also a ferocity."
Black Panther made it a point to bring a strong female representation with its introduction of these exciting and dynamic characters into the Marvel Universe. With change now seemingly on the horizon in the film industry, the next generation of movie watchers will now hopefully understand that women are superheroes, too.