With all of the excitement surrounding Avengers: Infinity War coming out next year, it's been a little easy to forget that Marvel has some other irons in the fire for 2018. Most notably, Black Panther is set to arrive in February and Marvel Studios has just released a brand new, full-length trailer for the movie, which is completely awesome. And, in a bit of an unexpected turn, the new Black Panther trailer seems to contain a very cool Easter egg for Disney's The Lion King.
Shortly after the second Black Punter trailer debuted online, the UrbanNoize2 Twitter account posted some side-by-side shots of the new Black Panther trailer next to some shots from the animated classic The Lion King. The resemblance is a bit uncanny and is either a very cool, deliberate homage from director Ryan Coogler, or a happy accident. It seems a little more like the former but, either way, it's pretty cool.
The scene in question comes at a point in the Black Panther trailer where we see Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa having a spiritual experience in the jungles of Wakanda. He approaches a tree that features many panthers hanging out in it, quite possibly symbolic of the other men who have held the mantle of Black Panther over the years before him. But the tree, and the mysterious and mystic color painting the sky, is very reminiscent of certain scenes in The Lion King. Specifically, Rafiki's ancient tree and Mufasa's image in the sky above Pride Rock. But the whole landscape of the shot looks to be influenced by The Lion King. It'd be tough to imagine this wasn't at least a little deliberate.
In Marvel's Black Panther, T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to take the throne as king, following the tragic death of his father, T'Chaka in Captain America: Civil War. Things get complicated when an old enemy reappears, which puts T'Challa's position as king of Wakanda and as Black Panther in jeopardy. Both Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and Ulysses Kalue (Andy Serkis) are going to be making T'Challa's life difficult in the movie. He is drawn into a conflict that puts his home and the entire world at risk. T'Challa must call on some of his allies and fight with everything he's got in order to save Wakanda and protect his people.
As it happens, Disney is currently working on a live-action version of The Lion King, which is set for release in summer 2019 and is being directed by Jon Favreau. While it's doubtful that anyone at Disney had Ryan Coogler throw this reference in Black Panther, it's an interesting coincidence. You can check out the side-by-side comparison of the new Black Panther trailer and The Lion King, courtesy of the UrbanNoize2 Twitter, for yourself below. Black Panther is set to hit theaters on February 16, 2018.