Black Panther Subscriber Cover Revealed

Subscriber Cover

by Jonathan Pile |
Published on

Black Panther marks a number of firsts for the MCU — not least that it’s the first movie in the franchise to be made by a predominantly black cast and crew. Slightly lower down the list in terms of industry-wide importance (but still exciting for us), is it’s the first time a film’s production designer — in this case Hannah Beachler — has designed the Empire subscriber cover. Which we’re pleased to reveal to you here and now.

The February issue of the magazine will be available in all good newsagents from Thursday 28 December. Meanwhile, Beachler's exclusive design will be with subscribers next week (if you don't subscribe, sign up now!{ =nofollow}). Want to know more about what Beachler's been doing on the film? Of course you do and you can read about it below.

What was your process for creating the look of the film?

I started by researching the different comics, and that’s where I started to understand the character and all the iterations he’s gone through. Ryan [Coogler] sent me all these images he took when he was writing in South Africa. See how he saw the country through his eyes helped me understand the vision he had for the film.

And did you travel for research?

Yes. I went over last year with the location manager, and we scouted around and broke things down. We travelled up and down the coast of South Africa, so we really got to see a big part of the country and found a texture I wouldn’t have been able to, I don’t think any of us would have been able to, had we not gone there.

The scale of the film is just epic — how do you balance that in terms of practical versus blue screen?

We did a lot [of practical]. Understanding how Ryan works with actors, and for me as a designer, we needed to have as much of the environment there as we could. We were able to keep a lot of the blue screen to beyond the set. It was always about what we can’t actually create, you know?

You did Lemonade with Beyonce, and you’ve done Creed and Fruitvale Station with Ryan, but did the sheer scale of Black Panther ever feel daunting?

I was psyched for the challenge, and honoured Ryan trusted me with such a big job. It was one of those things that if I took the time to sit down to actually think about it, it was overwhelming. I had a great team, and we took it one day at a time. If you constantly think about how big the film really is, there would be no way.

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