One of the great things about Marvel’s upcoming Black Panther is that it’s been brought to fruition to the efforts of some talented black women such as Hannah Beachler, who is the film’s production designer. During San Diego Comic-Con, the A.V. Club sat down with her to talk about her process for creating the world of Wakanda, a country that has never been colonized and was left to become the sprawling futuristic metropolis in the Marvel Universe.
Beachler said the look and feel of Wakanda came together thanks to 5,000 to 10,000 reference photos, comprised of images she and director Ryan Coogler found and were inspired by. Those photos led ideas about the politics and social atmosphere of Wakanda and neighboring nations.
“We wanted to make sure we were including all these different cultures–tribal and traditional,” she said. “Also, Wakanda’s never been colonized, so what does that look like?”
The hardest element for Beachler was “figuring out the technology for the country,” but she promised that it “will be fabulous.”
Also fabulous—Marvel was on board for much of Beachler’s concepts and gave her free reign with designs.
“Marvel was fantastic with that,” she said, adding that for some of her designs, which were very much surprises for Marvel, the company was game to see where the designs would take the film. “It’s different, more different than anything [they’ve] done at Marvel and they were on board for that, which was really fantastic,” she said.
Check out the full interview below!