On the surface, Thor and Black Panther don't look like they have that much in common. Sure they're both royalty and are skilled warriors, but one is a 1,000+ year old demigod who flies and can manipulate lightning, and the other wears a vibranium-woven catsuit and obtains his special abilities by ingesting a special herb. However, according to Black Panther producer Nate Moore, when Marvel Studios was developing T'Challa's solo movie, those involved took painstaking efforts to ensure that Wakanda, the African nation filled with advanced technology, didn't feel like Thor's homeworld of Asgard. Moore explained:
Our biggest fear, and one fear that Kevin articulated very early on was, he didn't want Wakanda to feel like Asgard. This sort of magical place that was of another world. He wanted it to feel like it could exist on Earth and I think Ryan went the extra mile with his team to make sure that all of the textures for clothing were grounded in stuff that actually was worn on the continent, that the design of the buildings were things that were inspired by things built on the continent, so if you were from Africa you would feel the textures that felt real.
Nate Moore makes a good point. Even though Wakanda is packed with technology that's decades/centuries ahead of its time, and the Wakandans did a good job of hiding the country's true nature from the world, it's still located on Earth. If the Black Panther team had tried to make Wakanda emulate Asgard from the Thor movies, it wouldn't have felt like this was a country that could be found in Africa, hence why it was necessary to include realistic elements within Wakanda, from the fashion to the architecture. With Asgard, it could look as fantastical and weird as the filmmakers wanted, but for Wakanda, it was important to honor the country being nestled in the heart of Africa. Continuing in his conversation with CinemaBlend's own Conner Schwerdtfeger about Black Panther's home release, Moore said:
It was something that was very much an homage to the beauty of culture in and around Africa. We would never claim that Wakanda is an encapsulation of all that is Africa, but what we did want to do was make sure we were getting it as right as we could and pulling as much as we could.
Our time with Agsard is over following its destruction in Thor: Ragnarok, but the realm's importance to the MCU shouldn't be understated, as it was the first extraterrestrial location we visited in this universe and opened the door to other cosmic corners for the franchise. But for Wakanda, Black Panther couldn't take that same alien culture-like route, and instead wisely stuck to the comic book source material and made T'Challa's home feel both unusual and familiar
You can now buy Black Panther on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, but if you're interested in seeing T'Challa and some of his allies on the big screen, head to your nearest theater to watch Avengers: Infinity War. Don't forget to also look through our Marvel movies guide to learn what other MCU cinematic projects are in development.