Wondering why references to Black Panther 2 are heard throughout the new season of Atlanta? Series creator Donald Glover and his brother, lead writer and executive producer Steven Glover might have something to do with it.
In the third season’s opening episode “Three Slaps” – written by Stephen – young student Loquareeous wakes up from a nightmare and excitedly jumps on his desk when his teacher announces that the class will be taking a field trip to see Black Panther 2. The celebration ends when Loquareeous is called to the principal’s office and disciplined by his mother and grandfather, to which a guidance counselor – filled with white guilt – calls children services to Loquareeous’ home to take him to an ultimately negligent foster home.
Now, in sixth episode “White Fashion,” the series follows Earn, Al/Paper Boi, Darius and Van – who’s finally returned after a brief departure – in London. Paper Boi is hired to be a token apologist on behalf of streetwear company Esco Esco, who makes an off-color reference to the Central Park Five with the number “5” on the back of a black and white jersey. “We want to apologize to the community properly with your help,” the lead designer tells Paper Boi, and the rapper agrees to help, albeit negotiating three free custom suits with free clothing and tailoring for three years.
Paper Boi soon joins a panel alongside Khalil, a Black influencer and self-proclaimed “activist” who hasn’t “paid for a meal in 73 police shootings.” Khalil’s scammer qualities jump out in the episode, as he has requests from the clothing brand, as well. One of his negotiations are tickets to the Black Panther 2 premiere, later offering Paper Boi an extra ticket, claiming that Whoopi Goldberg and Larenz Tate are in the film.
The references to Black Panther 2 aren’t too far-fetched, as Donald and Stephen Glover consulted on the first installment of the Marvel film series. In a 2018 interview with Collider, Ryan Coogler spoke on the Glover brothers offering “some cool insight” on the 2018 film.
“It wasn’t that kind of a thing where it was a ‘Change this, change that.’ We were looking at ways to highlight a few more character things, specifically with Shuri were she pokes fun at her brother,” Coogler said. “Donald’s one of the funniest people that I know, so he had some interesting ideas, and Stephen’s crazy talented as well.”
Will Donald and Stephen have a hand in the upcoming sequel? Stay tuned, as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever releases on November 11th.
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