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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Drew Deeply From Terminator 2 According To Ryan Coogler

If "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" ends up being the year's most popular movie, it will hardly come as a surprise. One of the most anticipated sequels in recent history, the film is also the finale to Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, itself the highest grossing movie franchise of all time according (per Investopedia). The first "Black Panther" was a candidate for best picture at the Oscars, making it not only the first MCU project to do so, but the first superhero movie, period (via Vox). And beyond all that, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" will finally address the legacy left by Chadwick Boseman, the late star of the original "Black Panther." Suffice it to say there's a lot riding on this project, but director Ryan Coogler seems to think he's got a winner on his hands.

Previously, producer Nate Moore boldly compared the second "Black Panther" feature to one of cinema's most widely acclaimed achievements, "The Godfather," likening the kingdoms of Wakanda and its rival Talocan to the warring mob families of Francis Ford Coppola's gangster epic. Now, Coogler is making comparisons with another pop cultural touchstone: "Terminator 2: Judgement Day."

Ryan Coogler compares Wakanda and Talocan to T-1000 and Terminator

Speaking to Collider, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" director Ryan Coogler asserted that "Terminator 2" is a major influence on the latest MCU film. In the interview, the filmmaker compared the conflict between Wakanda and the newly emergent underwater kingdom of Talocan led by Namor (Tenoch Huerta) to the struggle between Robert Patrick's T-1000 and Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator. "Terminator 2 is a big inspiration for this movie. Big time," Coogler said. He elaborated, "And you think about what T-1000 wants, and what Arnold Schwarzenegger's robot wants. They both want John Connor, but T-1000 wants to kill him, Arnold Schwarzenegger's character wants to protect him. That's the movie."

As the "Terminator 2" comparison applies to Wakanda and Talocan, Coogler says it's important for audiences to sympathize with both the Wakandans and Namor. "I look at it like that and also try to spend time with them. Not too much ... But enough that you understand where they're coming from and that you believe them when they make threats." If that sounds a bit familiar to fans of the first "Black Panther," it's because Coogler created a similar dynamic with that film, leading many fans to side with Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger and Looper to place him in the top 5 of our MCU movie villain rankings.

Whether "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" deserves the "Terminator" or "Godfather" comparisons remains to be seen as the film lands in theaters on November 11, 2022.