Marvel’s Black Panther Based Production at EUE/Screen Gems Studios Atlanta
Not every production changes the way American thinks, acts or sees heroes. “When you get to host a production as impactful as ‘Black Panther, you’re grateful,” says Kris Bagwell, Executive Vice President at EUE/Screen Gems Studios Atlanta. “We can’t take credit for the film’s success…that was in the hands of Director Ryan Coogler, the crew, and the talent. We do like to think that creating a place for that creativity to unfold played at least a supporting role.”
This groundbreaking Marvel feature film was based and shot at the Atlanta Studios in 2017. Proximity to downtown and the airport tipped the scales in the studio’s selection. Expansive sound stages with 40 feet to the grid paired with ample support and office space made the location favorable, too. Marvel and Disney are valued clients of EUE/Screen Gems. “Iron Man 3” shot at the Wilmington, NC studios.
About Black Panther
The Black Panther movie release in February, 2018 was heralded across the globe as the first hero movie with a predominantly-black cast. Women in the script are portrayed in powerful roles. In addition, a movement launched to make sure black youth got to see the movie on the big screen. A sampling:
- The New York Times review said, “Race matters in ‘Black Panther’ and it matters deeply, not in terms of Manichaean good guys and bad but as a means to explore larger human concerns about the past, the present and the uses and abuses of power.”
- An Essence story seized on the powerful women’s roles in the movie and their ability to save and support the main character, T’Challa.
- Editors at The Guardian say the film is the most tweeted movie ever: “The most shared posts have come from Kendrick Lamar, whose soundtrack reveal was retweeted over 240,000 times, and Michelle Obama, whose endorsement of the film scored over 139,000 retweets.”
- From GoFundMe: “After raising over $40,000 on GoFundMe to take Harlem children to see Black Panther in theaters, New York resident Frederick Joseph launched the #BlackPantherChallenge. He called on others to start a GoFundMe in their community to take more kids to watch Black Panther in the theater.” More than 600 GoFundMe campaigns were set up, raising more than $900,000 to take children to see the film.
- In response to the film’s appeal, Georgia Tourism released a list of locations travelers can visit.
Marvel Uses Black Panther As a Springboard for Giving Back
Bagwell was especially proud when Marvel donated $1 million to STEM programs attached to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The organization’s national headquarters are based in Atlanta. The donation specifically impacts Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Harlem, NY; Hartford, CT; Memphis, TN; New Orleans, LA; Oakland, CA; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Washington, DC; and Watts, CA. High tech innovation played an ongoing role in the movie, and Marvel kept its eye on making this “myth” a modern day reality.
“A lot of people don’t understand that Marvel doesn’t have to do this,” Bagwell explains. “They do it because they want to. It’s part of their corporate DNA.”
Bagwell also respects Marvel’s investment in the Atlanta premiere. Samuel L. Jackson surprised the audience at the sparkling night at Fox Theatre.
Bagwell says, “Samuel L. Jackson ASKED to be there. You don’t see stars do that every day. This production, coming from a respected, visionary client, is changing our industry’s baseline for corporate citizenship. It’s one more concrete example of how the Georgia film industry is impacting our state for good.”