Lupita Nyong'o Says 'Black Panther' Won't Have Its Female Characters "Pitted Against Each Other"

We're just a few months away from the release of Black Panther, which is set to leave quite a mark on the Marvel Cinematic Universe's landscape. And according to one of the film's stars, that will involve a strong relationship between its female characters.

During a recent interview with Teen Vogue, Lupita Nyong'o teased what fans can expect in the Marvel Studios venture. As she teased, Black Panther won't see its female characters at odds with each other, something that she sees as groundbreaking for the superhero genre.

"Ryan made a point of avoiding the expected female-rival narrative." Nyong'o explained. "In this genre, where spandex is involved, oftentimes the women are pitted against each other. In our story, there are so many different women holding their own space. Women may be in competition with each other, sure, but that doesn't necessarily mean there's an absence of love or respect."

As fans have seen in Black Panther's trailers, the film boasts a delightful amount of female roles and characters. Aside from Nyong'o's character, Nakia, the film will also include Shuri (Letitia Wright), Okoye (Danai Gurira), Ramonda (Angela Bassett), and various members of the Dora Milaje.

"Shuri is the sister to the Black Panther and the leader of technological pursuits, and Nakia is someone who has a complicated history with the Black Panther and is a warrior in her own right." Nyong'o continued. "You see them work together, and you see a dynamic that is really encouraging. Making this film awakened me. I walked away from this experience feeling extremely supported, and I felt challenged."

Wright echoed this, saying that Black Panther represents both genders of characters in a complex, dynamic way.

"Playing [Shuri] was so refreshing." Wright added. "She's strong, and she can kick butt. She's intelligent, she loves Wakanda, and she loves creating technology to protect her people. But you see when she's scared, when she's frightened, when she's afraid for her family. Even with some of the male characters [in the movie], you see moments when they are weak. Shuri was the sort of character I went home and studied to find out the reason she does things."


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. 3in 2020.