Cinematographer Rachel Morrison, ASC and director Ryan Coogler were the featured guests and speakers at the ASC Clubhouse for a discussion focusing on their work on the action-packed Marvel adventure hit Black Panther.
Black Panther picks up after the death of Wakanda’s isolationist King T’Chaka (John Kani) during the events of Captain America: Civil War (AC June ’16). T’Chaka’s son T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), the current Black Panther, returns home to take his rightful place on the throne, but his rule is contested by Erik Stevens, aka Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), a powerful rival who emerges from hiding to seize Wakanda’s vast natural wealth and — with the help of South African arms dealer Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) — use it to conquer the world. Faced with danger on all sides, T’Challa must team up with CIA agent Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) and the Dora Milaje — Wakanda’s all-female special-forces team — to defeat his enemies and preserve his people’s way of life.
Morrison and Coogler first collaborated on the independent feature Fruitvale Station (AC April ’13), which told a very real story about the 2009 shooting death of Oscar Grant by a BART police officer in Oakland, Calif. “It never occurred to me then that we would one day make a superhero film,” the cinematographer muses. “Now that I know Ryan better, it makes perfect sense. Graphic novels, comic books and superhero films were always in his DNA, even if they weren’t in mine. What we have in common is a desire to challenge ourselves.”