Aside from the late Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan, Letitia Wright’s Shuri was the breakout star ofMarvel‘s Black Panther.
While Shuri’s screen time after the film has been somewhat limited, she remains a favorite, especially as the keys to the franchise appear to be headed her way.
Looking back at her brief appearance in Endgame, however, fans noticed a funny quirk in Wright’s performance that kicked off a discussion on how these movies are filmed.
Shuri was the breakout star of Black Panther. Boseman had already appeared on screen, and Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger made him memorable. Still, fans loved Shuri’s humor, brains, and natural charisma.
Often serving as a lighthearted go-between for the film’s political discourse, Shuri always had an answer to go along with master engineering skills.
From her infamous berating of T’Challa’s shoes to her role in Infinity War’s final act, few supporting characters have the fan support that Shuri does. When she has a smaller role in the event movies, there’s not a lot to look for on paper. However, if you look at Wright’s small role in Endgame, Shuri’s personality comes out in full force.
‘Avengers: Endgame’: Fans chime in
In a thread about Shuri, Reddit users talked about how Wright appeared to add a little mustard to her grand re-entry into the MCU. As portals opened and practically every hero who has appeared on-screen came out, many looked poised to fight and ready to take on Thanos by themselves.
Then, there’s Shuri. Shuri walks out confidently but appears to have a little bit of fear after seeing the destructive force in front of her. Her reaction had fans rolling with laughter.
User u/jisforjoe thought it was a fascinating creative choice given the minimal set around her at filming. “It’s fun to wonder how much description and direction they’re given to get these kinds of subtle nuances out of all the actors’ performances… Remember that Letitia is literally surrounded by green drapes having to imagine what’s laid out in front of her,” they wrote.
This kicked off a discussion about the green screens that fans don’t see and how actors are forced to insert themselves into action that has not yet been created for the screen. As u/-eimaj- pointed out, many other cast members have spoken about the challenges that arose from that.
“Tom Holland has said several times that he’s just staring at green tennis balls, and they say, ‘There’s bad guys in front of you,’ and he has to use his imagination,” they wrote. “I know these movies get a lot of shit for being mostly spectacle, but one thing you can’t take away is the amount of commitment these actors have. They step onto a set surrounded by massive green screens and have to pretend that they’re doing all this cool s**t when, in reality, it looks so dumb.”
It’s true. Lost in all the Marvel movies’ magic is the fact that the environments that they are working on look hilariously tame compared to the product on screen.
The MCU resonates with fans in ways that few franchises outside of Star Wars or Lord of the Rings do. While the worlds that create them are often hilarious reminders of everything that happens in post-production, the fact that they can make these worlds out of green screens, tennis balls, and other movie hacks is a testament to the artistic artistry behind them.
Furthermore, it allows the actors to show off their craft. While they might not write the dialogue or direct the scene, the subtle decisions they make, such as Wright’s hilarious look at Thanos, show the craft behind every action is just as calculated as every visual effect, line-reading, and set design inside. Wright’s actions might not make the movie, but it helps grow Shuri during her limited time on-screen in Endgame.
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