The newest film from Marvel Studios is the latest step in the production company's attempt to be more inclusive, as evidenced by the casting. It's the first Marvel movie to feature a predominantly black cast, and it's loaded with some of the best actors working in the industry today.
But the company is still learning lessons, and they previously received criticism for casting Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange as The Ancient One, a character who is typically portrayed as Nepalese. The character is originally from the fictional nation of Kamar-Taj in the Himalayas. Producer Nate Moore spoke about the whitewashing misstep during ComicBook.com's visit to the set of Black Panther, calling it "a lesson" for the studio.
"Sometimes we step in it, a little bit," Moore said. "I think the Ancient One in Doctor Strange was a lesson for us, and in trying to avoid a stereotype we created an issue that we completely understood in hindsight, but we want to tell stories for everybody."
Moore spoke about casting Black Panther, and how they hope to continue telling stories with these characters, whether that be in sequels or in other movies entirely.
"We've always tried to find room for faces that look like everybody and not just homogeneous casting," Moore said. "Panther, obviously, is a big swing, which we hope to continue through many, many sequels, and take some of these characters and put them in even other franchises because I do think there's a way to cross pollinate in an interesting way, but it's also finding new heroes and new stories that allow us to do that organically. Looking at casting as a way to find the best actor or actress regardless of race or gender, frankly."
Moore pointed to another popular franchise as a guide for increasing inclusion in their films, whether it be in the cast or in different locations around the globe.
"I always point to the Fast and Furious franchise as sort of, weirdly, the standard bearer for casting a film that travels everywhere, because somebody is represented no matter where you go," Moore said. "I think that's really valuable. I think it does something sort of culturally that it's hard to put a finger on, but that you really see pay off."
Black Panther premieres in theaters February 16th.