Black Panther director Ryan Coogler has revealed that some key scenes in his movie were actually filmed across the street from Martin Luther King Jr.'s resting place in Atlanta. One of those scenes was also the one that Francis Ford Coppola asked to see again after watching an advanced screening hosted by Coogler. Coogler admitted that Coppola's work had a big influence on the movie, which is pretty evident even after one single viewing of the movie, showing deep and conflicting family ties.
The Oakland apartment scenes that are at the beginning and end of Black Panther were actually filmed in Atlanta, directly across the street from Martin Luther King Jr.'s resting place. King is buried at the King Center, which is in the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park. King's wife Coretta was also buried there in 2006 in a tomb next to his. An internal flame is nearby as is a reflective pool. However, that's not the only connection to Martin Luther King Jr. that the production of Black Panther had while filming in Atlanta.
According to Ryan Coogler, Bernice King, Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter paid a visit to the set on the first day of shooting the apartment scene. It was a big deal for the cast and crew of Black Panther as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. Coogler admits that it was pretty intense. He had this to say.
"The first day we shot (the apartment) scene, Martin Luther King's daughter came up to us and shook everybody's hand and blessed the project... It was pretty intense."
Black Panther is one of the MCU's biggest movies and might only be rivaled by Infinity War, which just hit theaters last week. Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa and Wakanda are featured heavily in that movie as well. Black Panther has been praised for showing off the revolutionary messages of Martin Luther King Jr. and puts them into an action packed superhero movie. King T'Challa's tries to keep the peace while expanding Wakanda and sharing their technological advances with the world, following in the footsteps of King, which was not lost on moviegoers while watching Black Panther, so it's pretty cool that Bernice King would "bless" the production.
The Blu-ray of Black Panther hits stores on May 15th, so you can check out the rest of Ryan Coogler's commentary then. Or, if you're impatient, you can purchase the digital version of the movie on May 8th, which is only a few days away. Regardless, Coogler's first foray into the MCU was an unprecedented success and will more than likely be the same thing when it's released digitally and physically in the coming weeks. You can check out the rest of what Ryan Coogler had to say about Martin Luther King Jr. and Black Panther over at The Hollywood Reporter.