"Ladies and gentlemen, I have come to you today to let you all know that I am NOT Laurence Fishburne. I will now take your questions."


"Ladies and gentlemen, I have come to you today to let you all know that I am NOT Laurence Fishburne. I will now take your questions."

BLACK PANTHER

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

V.O. JOHN KANI

Once upon a time, a meteor full of the most powerful metal in the universe crashed in the heart of Africa. This metal was called Vibranium, and despite the fact that it can absorb any force that impacts it, the local tribes with their stone age technology managed to shape it into, well, everything. Weapons, electrical wiring, clothing, you name it. It does your taxes, whitens your teeth, increases sexual virility, walks your dog, and a trillion other things the writers haven’t decided yet. White people used it to make a shield for a guy.

(pause)

Anyway, these tribes banded together to form the nation of Wakanda. They managed to repel European colonists and slave traders, hiding themselves away in the mountains and eventually creating massive holographic shield projections so they wouldn’t show up on Google Earth. These people are protected by the mighty Black Panther, a superhero so goddam empowering to black people he’s kind of a Mary Sue. Are you ready to be empowered?! Cuz I sure as hell am! But first, lets get depressing for a minute.

INT. APARTMENT – THE BAD PART OF OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, 1992

While some URBAN YOUTHS play basketball outside, gangsters STERLING K. BROWN and YOUNG FOREST WHITAKER plot some gangsteriness.

YOUNG FOREST WHITAKER

Yo man, I just heard exactly two knocks on the door.

STERLING K. BROWN

Two knocks?! Goddam. That’s the special Wakandan code. Let them in.

Two BADASS FEMALE WAKANDAN SPEC OPS AGENTS wearing outfits that are AWESOME but still look KIND OF RIDICULOUS when seen outside a SIMILARLY-STYLED ENVIRONMENT march into the room. They tap their SPEARS on the ground and the LIGHTS GO OUT. A moment later, BLACK PANTHER YOUNG JOHN KANI appears.

YOUNG JOHN KANI

Greetings, brother. I had hoped to find you in better lodgings, yet this “crib” is hardly “pimped” to a degree that befits royalty.

STERLING K. BROWN

Yes, brother and king of mine. I admit I am slumming somewhat. I simply desired to open diplomatic communications with this nation’s prince, and while he is a skilled musician, I discovered to my dismay that he lacks any real authority in their political structure. I then reached out to a recently deposed monarch in the duchy of Bel-Air, but he is less “fresh” than his title would suggest…

YOUNG JOHN KANI

A likely story. For our precious Vibranium has been pilfered by ruthless criminal Andy Serkis, and I have suspicions that you may have abetted him in this atrocity.

STERLING K. BROWN

Who accuses me of such!

YOUNG FOREST WHITAKER

Yo.

STERLING K. BROWN

Well shit.

YOUNG JOHN KANI

Come, brother. Return home to face Wakandan justice. I shall also explain to you what “situational comedies” are.

STERLING K. BROWN

As the “fresh” prince once said, AW HELL NAW!

STERLING tries to SHOOT JOHN, becoming the latest of MANY MANY BAD GUYS to forget that VIBRANIUM ARMOR treats BULLETS like DANDELION FLUFF. JOHN reluctantly skewers him through the CHEST and leaves him to die.

EXT. PRESENT DAY AFRICA

Flying in on his INVISIBLE SPACE JET, new king BOJACK HORSEMAN CHADWICK BOSEMAN prepares to do battle!

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

What is the plan of attack today, General?

DANAI GURIRA

Guerrillas have three trucks full of slaves in the jungle below us. They are armed with thirty-year old rifles and rusty machetes and probably have half a high-school education between them, so naturally we’ve kitted you out with enough sci-fi tech to kill the Klingon Empire.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Very well.

DANAI GURIRA

…and?

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

And what?

DANAI GURIRA

Where is your snarky comeback? Your patented Charming Marvel Protagonist humor that will undercut every moment of tension or drama?

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

The Panther does not snark. As the first black superhero, I feel I must maintain a certain decorum.

BLADE/SPAWN/SWEET SWEETBACK

(glare disapprovingly)

CHADWICK kills all the guerrillas easily, but is stopped from killing the last one by undercover secret agent LUPITA NYONG’O.

LUPITA NYONG’O

Do not slay this one, my king and ex-boyfriend. He is merely a child soldier. I mean, you just killed the cast of Beasts of No Nation but eh, can’t save ‘em all.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Greetings, my former love. We have not seen each other since your Oscar win.

LUPITA NYONG’O

I am cashing in, Chadwick. Serious acting is great, but a girl has to eat, and Disney has deep pockets.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Ah yes, the Natalie Portman maneuver. Well, shall we fall back in love now or at the end of the movie when nothing about our relationship dynamic has changed?

LUPITA NYONG’O

At the end, my king. Tradition demands it.

They hop in their SPACESHIP and return to the capital city of ZOOTOPIA.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

That is an unfair comparison, Stage Direction. Certainly, our capital is a colorful and forested CGI metropolis where nature interacts freely with modernity, but you should not compare us so readily to-

DANIEL KALUUYA

(riding a goddam rhinoceros)

Greetings, my king.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Point taken. How fare our borders, Daniel?

DANIEL KALUUYA

They’re fine, like they always are. I have a pretty easy job, actually, what with the holographic projectors shielding our entire nation from sight. I’m starting to think we should go murder the rest of the world to show our dominance.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

That’s stupid. Our ways are peaceful! Now please excuse me while I go cement my rule via a display of ritual combat on a waterfall.

EXT. WATERFALL

The REST OF THE CAST gathers to observe CHADWICK’S CORONATION. Wise spiritual leader FOREST WHITAKER seizes a microphone.

FOREST WHITAKER

Ladiiiiies and gentlemen, welcome to the Rumble in the Jungle for the Wakandan crown! In this corner, weighing in at 160 pounds of pure sexy muscle, the Godfather of Swole, the Great White Hope for Great Black Action Stars, Chaaaadwick Boseman!

CHADWICK enters, shirtless, causing many THEATER SEATS to suddenly resemble the WATERFALL he stands upon.

FOREST WHITAKER

Aaaaand in this corner! Weighing in at 0.75 Dwayne “The Rock” Johnsons, the guy who was called Man-Ape in the comics but that’s racist so now he just sort of barks at everyone, Wiiiinston “The Duke” Duke!

WINSTON DUKE enters, shirtless, barking.

FOREST WHITAKER

Alright, I want a fair intra-tribal bloodbath from you two. No crotch shots, chair hits, and you have to end with a dramatic act of mercy. Agreed? Alright, FIGHT!

CHADWICK and WINSTON wrestle in the water for a bit until CHADWICK gets WINSTON in a headlock. ANGELA BASSETT and LETITIA WRIGHT watch from the cliffside nearby.

ANGELA BASSETT

Ungh, to be a loincloth in that fight right now.

LETITIA WRIGHT

Mom! You’re Chadwick’s mother in this movie!

ANGELA BASSETT

Damn, really?! I could be his sister!

LETITIA WRIGHT

As a tech genius, my research upon the outer world’s “interwebs” has revealed that Americans have a saying about our people and our inability to “crack”.

ANGELA BASSETT

Hm. Insensitive, but a fair assessment in my case.

CHADWICK defeats WINSTON, who retreats, barking, into the mountains.

LATER, CHADWICK goes to meet LETITIA in her APPLE STORE GAGDET LAB.

LETITIA WRIGHT

Well big bro, now that you’re super-double-official king, I guess it’s time for you to dictate policy, open new diplomatic channels with allies, and -

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

No, sister. Since the world shall never know the glory of Idris Elba as James Bond, I must fill the Black 007 void. Bequeath various Chekov’s Gadgets upon me that I might track down Andy Serkis. Because apparently I need Jetsons technology to fight a pasty British man whose superpower is not having an arm.

LETITIA WRIGHT

‘Kay. I made you a new Panther suit. It’s exactly the same as the old Panther suit except now we have two of them, just in case a villain wants to steal the other one for a climactic showdown. Oh, and sometimes it can release pent-up kinetic energy in the form of a huge concussive blast.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

When does it do that?

LETITIA WRIGHT

Whenever you make that crossed-arms Wakandan salute that no one is supposed to notice we stole from Plan 9 From Outer Space. So basically whenever you remember to. Also, I made you a sexy car. It will be useful in case you need to… drive somewhere. Okay, did Disney just have half a James Bond script lying around?

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Sister, as I said, we honor James Bond’s influence, but I hardly see how this could be construed as-

INT. THE CASINO FROM SKYFALL

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Yeah, okay, I see it. Hell, all we need is a color-swapped Felix Leiter and we’re basically just-

MARTIN FREEMAN

Hey, folks. Remember me? That guy who was in Civil War for like ten seconds?

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Oh, for the love of Bastet. Martin, no offense, but I’m here with Seal Team Xhosa, and you’re a Tolkien white guy. You can’t take Andy back to SHIELD or wherever.

MARTIN FREEMAN

Actually, I work for the plain old CIA, because that exists in this universe I guess. And I’m here to abduct Andy Serkis like you abducted that Tolkien joke from Reddit. Now please, stand aside. You can’t violate South Korean autonomy with this extra-judicial kidnapping. That’s OUR thing!

But ANDY spots them!

ANDY SERKIS

Hello, lovies! Anyone care to give me a hand?

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Ugh, just shoot me with your sci-fi bullshit arm, please.

ANDY SERKIS

Can do!

ANDY shoots him with a BLAST of ENERGY from his ROBOT ARM!

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Okay, now can we see your REAL power? That basically just tussled my curls and I’m not even in my Panther suit yet.

ANDY SERKIS

Fuck.

ANDY escapes in a CAR and CHADWICK gives CHASE! They speed through the streets of KOREA in a scene that’s so fucking COOL you won’t even notice it’s ripped off from the 2009 G.I. JOE movie! Eventually, ANDY is captured and taken to a BLACK SITE for interrogation.

ANDY SERKIS

What do you know about Wakanda?

MARTIN FREEMAN

I know their king’s a superhero with access to sci-fi technology. Actually, doesn’t EVERYONE know that? He took off his mask in front of like fifty people in Civil War, someone probably got a Snapchat.

ANDY SERKIS

Well, little did you know, Wakanda is actually a super-advanced civilization hiding its wonders from the world! Which probably explains how their king can afford all that gear, in case you were wondering.

MARTIN FREEMAN

Wow. So Wakanda’s basically how North Korea portrays itself in propaganda videos?

ANDY SERKIS

This is uncomfortable. Where’s Wallace at?

It turns out Wallace is HERE! And he got FUCKING RIPPED! Young spec ops bad guy MICHAEL B. JORDAN bursts through the WALL and whisks ANDY away!

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Damn! For all our amazing skills and technology, we could not foresee their fiendish tactics of blowing up a wall and driving away in a van!

DANAI GURIRA

My king, Martin has been shot!

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Then let us all escort him immediately back to Wakanda so he can be healed!

DANAI GURIRA

…couldn’t like two of us stay here and chase Andy for a bit?

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

It is too late. That van can probably go 50 miles per hour on good streets if it hasn’t rained. They are long gone. Let us all return home so we can comfort this guy we barely know.

Stepping over the PROBABLY-STILL-DYING BODIES of MARTIN’s COWORKERS, they leave.

EXT. AIRFIELD

ANDY and MICHAEL load their gear into their plane.

ANDY SERKIS

Well, Mike, I must say, you and I have a fascinating dynamic as far as villains go. Me, more experienced and batshit crazy, and you, full of fierce, youthful anger and superior fighting skills. I think this could really be the thing that makes Marvel villains stop sucking!

MICHAEL B. JORDAN

Yeah, about that.

(shoots Andy)

ANDY SERKIS

What the fuck, Mikey?! We have a good thing here! Come on, I’ve had like fifteen minutes of screentime buried in two three-hour movies! Let me at least stay for the climax!

MICHAEL B. JORDAN

As a great man once said, AW HELL NAW!

MICHAEL kills ANDY and also his own GIRLFRIEND because he DOES NOT GIVE A FUCK.

INT. WAKANDAN COUNCIL ROOM

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

…and if we increase grain yields by 15% we can probably offset the deficit from the new high school theater program. Bastet H. Christ, kinging is boring.

MICHAEL B. JORDAN

(kicking in the door and dropping Andy’s body on the table like Errol Flynn with a deer)

‘Sup, bitches.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

By what right does this disturbingly sexy American interrupt our sacred budget meeting/office birthday party for lip-plate guy?!

LIP-PLATE GUY

This was for me?! You shouldn’t have!

MICHAEL B. JORDAN

By right of I’m your cousin, cousin! Behold! My special Wakandan lip tattoo!

ANGELA BASSETT

By the blessed rains down in Africa! His birth certificate is valid! He is of Wakandan blood!

MICHAEL B. JORDAN

Damn straight. I was one of those younglings on the basketball court in Oakland at the start of the movie. Sterling K. Brown was my pops! Your daddy killed my daddy, ChadBo! I demand satisfaction!

ANGELA BASSETT

That is pure folly! My son would never agree to-

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

I accept.

ANGELA BASSETT

I am regretting this more than that time I played a circus freak with three tits.

EXT. WATERFALL

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

As an act of courtesy, I have extracted from my bloodstream the magic Wakandan super-drugs that make me a devastating fighter. We shall be equals now.

MICHAEL B. JORDAN

Yeah, I been meaning to ask about that. Where the hell’d those drugs come from?

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Vibranium.

MICHAEL B. JORDAN

And what exactly do they do?

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Everything.

MICHAEL B. JORDAN

Because-

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Because Vibranium, yes.

MICHAEL B. JORDAN

Aw hell yeah, I’m getting me some of that.

They fight with SPEARS this time. CHADWICK wins for a bit, but then he starts LOSING because REASONS. MICHAEL moves in for the killing blow!

MICHAEL B. JORDAN

And now to claim my rightful crown! For I am… KILLMONGER!

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

(swallowing a laugh)

Is that your villain name? Dude, there are other jungle cats. Be Leopard Man or something, I mean, fuck. Do you “mong” kills often?

MICHAEL B. JORDAN

Okay fuck y’all.

He THRUSTS!

FOREST WHITAKER

(diving in the way)

GET DOWN, MR. PRESIDENT!

FOREST is STABBED to death!

MICHAEL B. JORDAN

(pause)

Ooookay, that was useful. Welp, since my only real cultural understanding of Africa while growing up came from The Lion King, I figured this was appropriate. LONG LIVE THE KING!

MICHAEL punts CHADWICK off the waterfall and OH MY GOD HES TOTALLY DEAD YOU GUYS SERIOUSLY NO WAY HE LIVED THROUGH THAT CAN YOU READ THE SARCASM IN THESE ALL CAPS STAGE DIRECTIONS IF YOU CAN’T YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVEN’T VISITED THIS SITE LATELY AND SHOULD BE ASHAMED.

INT. WAKANDAN THRONE ROOM

LUPITA and DANAI meet to discuss their next move.

LUPITA NYONG’O

So, what shall we do, Danai? Michael wishes to use our Wakandan technology to visit horrible vengeance against white oppressors the world over. And I must admit, after seeing 2 Broke Girls I agree the white race has a lot to answer for, but this simply isn’t the way!

DANAI GURIRA

I am sorry, sister-in-arms. I am sworn to uphold Wakandan law. Even the stupid parts, like how the unquestioned ruler can be replaced at any time by someone who beats him at waterfall wrestling.

LUPITA NYONG’O

Well at least you acknowledge how bullshit this is. I am taking the royal family and fleeing into the mountains. Have fun with your genocide.

DANAI GURIRA

It beats more Walking Dead!

LUPITA, ANGELA, and LETITIA escape the city and find the tribe of WINSTON DUKE.

ANGELA BASSETT

Winston, we beseech you. Please aid us in our violent coup to seize power in our totalitarian regime. We promise we’re the good guys in this.

WINSTON DUKE

(barking)

LUPITA NYONG’O

What’s that, Winston? You say you won’t help us directly? You say we’re total hypocrites for leading an egalitarian society but somehow not opening diplomatic relations with your people in these freezing mountaintops for like a thousand years?

WINSTON DUKE

(barking)

LUPITA NYONG’O

What’s that, Winston? What are you trying to say? That you pulled Chadwick out of the river!? And you kept him alive through the magic of “burying him in like an inch of snow”??

WINSTON DUKE

(howls)

(pants)

LUPITA NYONG’O

Hmm, if I’m understanding this, we can use the secret Vibranium herbal supplement to bring Chadwick back to life and give him superpowers and then lead an attack on Michael’s regime by praying Danai and her army of all-female badasses will have a Face-Heel Turn at the last possible moment which Winston would be happy to hop in when things look their hairiest. Am I getting that right?

WINSTON DUKE

(yips)

LUPITA NYONG’O

Good boy, Winston. Let’s get Chad trippin’.

CHADWICK is fed the HERBAL SUPPLEMENT and has a vision of himself in the PSYCHADELIC SERENGETI. His dead father, JOHN KANI, appears before him.

JOHN KANI

Son! It is good to see you! Join me and your ancestors as we frolic in the fields of the spiritual African afterlife! It’s pretty awesome, except for all the spiritual NatGeo documentary crews…

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

No, father! I have decided that you and our ancestors were wrong! We can no longer abandon our brothers and sisters to squalor outside Wakanda’s borders! It was pure cruelty to slay Michael’s father and abandon him to the “hood”. Too many black youths grow into violent young men in such a way. For while Michael’s tactics are beyond the pale, his grievances are valid! The sins of our oppressors do not excuse our own!!

JOHN KANI

Chadwick, every king must make hard decisions. Yours will come in time. I ask you again: join me, and let us frolic in the wilderness as Panther Spirits. At least until Spirit Climate Change depletes the Spirit Gazelle population and we must forage nearer to Spirit Human settlements.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

I cannot, father. For sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti… I know that I must do what’s right.

JOHN KANI

(snorts)

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

What?

JOHN KANI

Nothing. I’ll tell you when you die someday.

CHADWICK AWAKENS!

EXT. FIELDS OF CLIMACTIC BATTLE

CHADWICK and WAKANDA’S WARRIORS prepare to face MICHAEL and his MILITANT LOYALISTS.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Alright folks, here’s the plan. Lady-warriors, tap your spears on the ground. Something different happens every time you do that, maybe you’ll hit on the “win battle” configuration.

LADY WARRIOR

(taps spear on ground)

(sprouts a mustache)

I’ll keep trying.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Letitia, Angela. I need you two to keep being badass. Nothing specific, just be in the background fighting mooks. It won’t affect much but it’ll look inspiring as hell.

LETITIA WRIGHT

I have laser gauntlets all of a sudden!

DANIEL KALUUYA

(riding a goddam rhinocerous again)

Hold, former allies! I have decided Michael’s one-nation jihad against the rest of the world is what’s best for our people! Flee now, or me, Scrumptious here, and my army of loyalists with magic blankets shall attack!

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Dude, we were best friends like two days ago. Did someone reprogram your brain or something?!

DANIEL KALUUYA

(vacant smile)

(old white guy voice)

Why, whatever do you mean?

The FIGHT commences! It is PRETTY AWESOME even if it does look an awful lot like the climax of PHANTOM MENACE at times! Eventually, DANIEL is confronted by DANAI.

DANIEL KALUUYA

Greetings, my love. Surely you cannot slay me.

DANAI GURIRA

Wait, we’re lovers?! Wow, I thought Chadwick and Lupita were underdeveloped. Anyway, get off your high-rhinoceros, you’re sleeping in the doghouse tonight.

DANIEL KALUUYA

No. To the bitter end I will-

DANAI GURIRA

(snaps a Snapchat with the flash on)

DANIEL KALUUYA

(nose bleeding)

I have been a complete idiot today.

DANIEL surrenders!

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Well that takes care of the Blanket Brigade. But there are still more warriors to-

WINSTON DUKE

(charging over the hillside with dozens of soldiers)

(barking)

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Well, that takes care of the warriors. But wait! A single spaceship full of Wakandan weaponry is flying towards the border! If it escapes, all is lost!

LUPITA NYONG’O

I know someone says this in every movie but, couldn’t we just call the Avengers and have them take out that one ship? I’m pretty sure it won’t impact the empowering message of our film if we just ask for-

MARTIN FREEMAN

(flying in on a huge eagle)

I’m helping!

(destroys the ship)

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Thank you, white ally! Now to finish Michael!

CHADWICK and PANTHER-SUIT-WEARING MICHAEL have a CATFIGHT that lands them both on the SCI-FI TRAIN TRACKS inside the VIBRANIUM MINE.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Hmm, if I remember that extremely clumsy foreshadowing from earlier in the film, I know these train tracks have a special sonic ray that makes Vibranium go all loopy. This could give me just the edge I need!

MICHAEL B. JORDAN

You can’t win, homes. I’m the coolest goddam villain Marvel has pumped out in years! Who you gonna fight in the sequel? Kraven the Hunter? Motherfucking Stilt Man?!

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Dammit, you’re right. We can’t waste two charismatic villains in one movie. Alright, go escape and I’ll just-

But CHADWICK accidentally taps his SPEAR on the ground.

MICHAEL B. JORDAN

(spear sprouting from his chest out of nowhere)

…man. Y’all need better instructions on your magic spears.

As an act of SYMPATHY, CHADWICK takes the DYING MICHAEL up to the CLIFFSIDE so they can watch the SUNSET together.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Perhaps we could still heal you, Michael. I mean, that thing’s stuck like eight inches into your chest but Vibranium literally solves everything.

MICHAEL B. JORDAN

And live in bondage, as my ancestors did on the plantations of old? As a great man once said…

(coughs)

Aw… hell… naw…

(dies)

EXT. OAKLAND, PRESENT DAY

CHADWICK and LETITIA stand on the BASKETBALL COURT where young MICHAEL once lost his innocence.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Sister, I have decided, Wakanda must open up our gifts to the world. No longer shall we live in comfort while our brothers and sisters suffer in poverty as Michael once did.

LETITIA WRIGHT

Awesome! So when do we start selling spaceships?

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Whoa, hold your rhinos, girl. We’re already sharing a cinematic universe with Jessica Jones and Punisher, dropping laser guns and gravity trains everywhere will stretch believability to the breaking point. Let’s just start with a rec center, yeah? Talk to me again after Infinity War about the real shit.

END?

OF COURSE IT ISN’T THE END! YOU WANT POST-CREDITS SCENES?! YOU GOT POST-CREDITS SCENES!

INT. UNITED NATIONS

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

And if you’ll look at my chart here, you’ll see a 0.5% increase in Wakandan trade with the EU will bolster both economies, especially if we factor in steel tariffs from the United States. Now, in the service of diplomacy, we’re willing to eat the post-inflation shipping costs of textiles, but if we can renegotiate livestock and automobile exchange rates, I think you’ll find us amenable to-

OKAY THAT ONE WAS KIND OF A BUST BUT GUESS WHAT, WE GOT POST-CREDITS NUMBER TWO COMING RIIIIIIGHT UP!

EXT. WAKANDAN FIELD

SEBASTIAN STAN

(pause)

This is nice.

OKAY, MAYBE YOU CAN SKIP THE POST-CREDITS SCENES THIS TIME AROUND.

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