'Black Panther' Director Reveals The Film's 'James Bond' Influences

After Captain America: The Winter Soldier enthusiastically embraced the '70s spy thriller feeling [...]

After Captain America: The Winter Soldier enthusiastically embraced the '70s spy thriller feeling and Guardians of the Galaxy oozed space opera, Marvel Studios films began to wear their influences on their sleeves, feeling less like a homogenized monolith and more like an interconnected series of independent entities.

So...what is Black Panther, the next installment in Marvel's sprawling cinematic universe, which hits theaters next month?

"I think it's got a lot of elements, man," the film's director, Ryan Coogler, said during a recent interview. "I think it's a bit of an espionage thriller. I think it's a little bit of a family drama. It involves T'Challa working with his family, so I think there's a family-drawn element to it. He works with his sister, he works with his mother. He's dealing with the loss of his father, so similar to any film that deals with royalty, you have a family element and you have a political side, too. It works as a political drama as well."

Fandango's interviewer specifically called out the film's James Bond inspiration, which Coogler admitted to, saying, "Yeah, definitely with James Bond."

"I think similar to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we're definitely influenced by the films of the '70s and influenced by crime fiction," he added.

Coogler said that rather than laser-focus in on a particular influence or two (as the Russos have suggested they did with Winter Solder), he likes to draw from a wide variety of films before he begins a new project.

"I love watching movies, man. I've been a fan of watching movies way before I even knew I would ever make them," he said....My favorite film is a film called A Prophet, a French film that was released almost a decade ago now, which seems a bit crazy."

Coogler explained that the film, which was directed by BAFTA and Golden Globe nominee Jacques Audiard, "deals with secret societies and cultural ties, so that was a big influence [on Black Panther]."

Besides Audiard, and '70s Francis Ford Coppola, Coogler said that he had a particular vintage of Bond movies that informed his filmmaking this time around.

"We were looking at all of that stuff and also watched a lot of the James Bond films, but not the new ones," Coogler explained. "I wanted to watch the ones that were made in the '60s and '70s. I watched Goldfinger for the first time, and I just thought it was really interesting in terms of how James Bond was handy."

Black Panther opens in theaters on February 16, 2018.

Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Avengers: Infinity War on May 4, 2018, Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6, 2018, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.