Marvel Studios’ Black Panther is less than two months away, which means we are due for an Empire cover story on the film. We will be getting it next week, but in the meantime, Empire has released an incredible subscriber-only cover designed by Black Panther production designer Hannah Beachler. Here we see the title character composed of images taken from the trailers mixed with behind-the-scenes photos. It is simply gorgeous.
In addition to designing the cover, Beachler spoke with Empire about her work on the film, starting with how the source material inspired her and also what she was able to add through her location scouting.
“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.
“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.”
Black Panther looks like a massive epic, and it is, but Beachler could not focus on that during production.
“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.”
We will probably see the regular cover before too long, as the issue will be out next Thursday, December 28. Empire is usually good for at least a few new details in the magazine’s feature articles, so expect to learn more about Black Panther next week.
Black Panther arrives in theaters February 16, 2018.