Inspiration comes from all places, even the unlikely ones. Still, it’s a little strange to hear that Terminator 2: Judgment Day was an inspiration for Wakanda Forever. Writer/director Ryan Coogler takes a unique but ingenious approach to villains. Rather than drafting an evil cardboard cutout, he creates a reasonable character with unreasonable methods. Looking back on Black Panther, it becomes obvious how this works out. Killmonger wasn’t wrong per se, it’s just that his modus operandi put him at odds with T’Challa.
Coogler recently sat down for a chat with Collider to speak about his method for creating villains, as well as Namor, the key antagonist in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. In regards to villains as a whole. He also delved a bit more into how exactly he came to take inspiration from James Cameron’s Terminator 2.
Terminator 2 is a big inspiration for this movie. Big time. And you think about what T-1000 wants, and what Arnold Schwarzenegger’s robot wants. They both want John Connor, but T-1000 wants to kill him, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character wants to protect him. That’s the movie. And I look at it like that and also try to spend time with them. Not too much, you know what I’m saying? But enough that you understand where they’re coming from and that you believe them when they make threats.
Coogler also compared that approach to the Terminator character to his version fo Namor, noting “That’s what makes Namor, I think, so cool in the books. In most publishing runs of him, he’s very arrogant. But you also know he has the capability to do what he’s saying he’s going to do. He walks in in his underwear and says, ‘Hey, I’m going to kill everybody.’ But you believe it because you know he is capable of it.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens in theaters on November 11, 2022.
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