For Ryan Coogler, Black Panther was an opportunity to wrestle with questions he's been dealing with his entire life.
While all of Coogler's films have touched on the Black experience, Coogler says that it's Black Panther, and the opportunity it gave him to explor African heritage, that might be his most intimate.
"This film is possibly the most personal film I've made to date," he told the Sydney Morning Herald. "To me it deals with the answer to a question that I've been asking myself since I was very young - what does it mean to be African? That idea, that concept, I was very interested in and drawn towards."
He continued by saying, "I was able to explore that in making this film. It enabled me to fulfil a longlife [sic] dream of going to the continent of Africa - researching - for the first time. The things that I learned about the continent and the things that I learned about myself were invaluable. I tried to put some of that energy into the project."
These comments echo things Coogler said last year, while still knee-deep in the film's production. And they incredibly exciting news to those of us awaiting the film. In my estimation, superhero stories are always elevated by being personal to their creators, by drawing on aspirations, interests, and questions they have and turning them into high fantasy and high drama.
Speaking of, a new TV spot has also premiered for the film, a quick thirty-second spotlight on T'Challa's kingly rise.
Watch it below. On February 16, the king arrives in Black Panther.