As dialogue goes, Black Panther has provided some of the best in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far.
From M’Baku’s quip about feeding Everett K. Ross to his children (“I’m kidding. We’re vegetarians.”) to T’Challa demanding Shuri “delete that footage” after his suit goes haywire, Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole came up with some brilliantly quotable lines.
“When you see T’Challa bring back Ross she says, ‘Great! Another broken white boy for us to fix!’ that was my idea,” the British actress revealed.
“I said ‘Bro, can I say this?’ I said to Ryan, ‘can I say it, because it links to Bucky Barnes being in Wakanda?’ and he’s like ‘perfect, say it.'”
The original broken white boy was Bucky Barnes who she rehabilitated following the events of Captain America: Civil War and the pair got to share the final post-credit scene of the movie.
“I was so grateful for that, super grateful,” Wright said of being given that scene. “It looked a bit romantical, right? Shuri has a big heart.”
Of course, after the events of Avengers: Infinity War it’s up in the air as to whether Bucky and Shuri will be reunited, or what the future of Wakanda holds but Letitia is more than aware of what her character gets up to in the comic books, which includes becoming Black Panther herself.
“Her brother gets into a sticky situation and she has to step up and she becomes the Black Panther,” Wright explained. “hat’s exciting to think about but right now, where we are with Shuri, I think it’s a perfect place.
“She’s learning, she’s growing; yes, she’s a part of royal blood and the lineage of the Panther, the Panther mantle, but until then she’s still figuring herself as a young person.”
When Wright first auditioned for the role of the Wakandan princess she refused to research her character in the comic books but still ended up playing her in a similar way.
“It’s funny because when I first got the script and just started going to the auditions, something in my spirit said ‘don’t look at the comics’ just go off what the script said,” the actress recalled. “I actually, without even knowing it, was playing Shuri from the comic book in my audition.
“So I was being very serious. Shuri was always in competition with her brother she just wanted the throne, from the moment you meet her, but before even reading [the comics] I was already in that mindset of like she’s serious about Wakanda, she should be taken seriously, and she doesn’t have time for games or messing around.
“Even the funny stuff I would do it very heavy,” Wright continued. “But Ryan one day was like ‘hey we’re not going in that direction, she’s not going to be a savage Black Panther right now, she’s a kid, we’re meeting her when she’s 18 and she’s in the prime of learning about vibranium.
“Imagine her being in the lab all night, that’s what Shuri would do. Her mum would have to call somebody to get her out to tell her ‘Shuri, we’re having a guest for dinner at the Royal Palace, can you make it?’ And she’d most likely say ‘mum, no,’ and then she’d probably text T’Challa on her Kimoya beads and say ‘come down I’ve got new gadgets!’
“So we had to flip it and I had to approach her with love and light and positivity and Ryan wanted that,” the actress said.
Wright most recently appeared in the MCU’s greatest crossover of heroes so far but with Disney’s acquisition of Fox, it could see some X-Men visiting Wakanda, Storm in particular, as there’s a storyline that sees her marry T’Challa.
The Twittersphere has already dream-cast Michaela Coel as a future Ororo Munroe iteration after she made a stand-out appearance at the Black Panther premiere back in February.
“If she could play Storm that would be amazing,” Wright said. “I knew of her work and I’ve been just happy about what’s she being able to achieve so seeing her [at the premiere] was refreshing too.
“Her giving me words of encouragement, to keep for years to come, was really really amazing and just taking the time to tell me to continue how I am, continue to be grounded, and remember that is the important thing in this industry was really cool for me.”
MARVEL STUDIOS’ “BLACK PANTHER” ARRIVES TO HOMES DIGITALLY AND ON DVD & BLU-RAY JUNE 11