If you’re wearing a hat today, you might want to hold onto it, because acclaimed filmmaker Terry Gilliam has recently shared his impassioned thoughts about Marvel’s Oscar-nominated BLACK PANTHER, and they ain’t pretty.
Gilliam, who in the past has directed two of my favorite films of all time, THE FISHER KING and FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, recently spoke with Indiewire about the long and troubled production of his most recent feature: THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE. And while waxing rhapsodic about Quixote‘s production woes, casting conundrums, budgetary constraints and other, more personal troubles, including a stroke, Gilliam eventually aired his grievances related to Marvel films that he believes are partially to blame for today’s struggling film market.
“I hated Black Panther,” Gilliam told IndieWire. “It makes me crazy. It gives young black kids the idea that this is something to believe in. Bullshit. It’s utter bullshit. I think the people who made it have never been to Africa. They went and got some stylist for some African pattern fabrics and things. But I just I hated that movie, partly because the media were going on about the importance of bullshit.”
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Mr. Gilliam, I understand that you’re upset, but I’m not entirely sure that you’re in any position to judge what young black kids should and shouldn’t believe. To begin, parents are more than capable of explaining Black Panther’s fictional nature to their children. Second, finding inspiration in the goodly-natured deeds of superheroes has led to a number of people doing some pretty spectacular things in real life, such as establishing charities for those in need or pursuing work as a medical technician or law enforcement official. I could go on, but perhaps we should move on?
“It makes my blood boil,” Gilliam added when asked if he thought that BLACK PANTHER was praised due to its place in politics and the public’s persistance in creating a more “woke” society as opposed to the film’s genuine quality.
“I’m just very frustrated of the world we’re living in,” Gilliam continued. “I do things to prod people, to make them think or make them laugh. And I always get myself in trouble.”
In addition to sinking its claws into $1,34 billion at the worldwide box office, BLACK PANTHER was nominated for a series of high-profile awards, including Best Original Music Score, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and even Best Picture at the 2019 Academy Awards. Of the aforementioned awards, BLACK PANTHER proudly marched away from the Oscars with the awards for Best Original Music Score, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design in its paws.
Regardless of Gillam’s rantings, a sequel to BLACK PANTHER was officially announced at Comic-Con International in San Diego in July and is currently in production. Ryan Coogler will return to direct and write the films, which has Chadwick Boseman, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira and Martin Freeman each looking to reprise their respective roles for the sequel. The film will march into theaters with its head held high on March 6, 2022.