Black Panther was an instant success for Marvel. First, it broke the company’s first-day presale ticket records, out-earning The Last Jedi over its four-day opening weekend. Then, it nabbed the biggest February debut of all time. It’s pulled in more than $1 billion in worldwide box office totals alone, and it currently stands as the highest-grossing film by a black director. Now, its legacy will also include an appearance in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
The museum announced that it will display the costume worn by star Chadwick Boseman and designed by Oscar-nominated designer Ruth E. Carter from October 24th to October 27th, during its first African American Film Festival. “Black Panther is the first superhero of African descent to appear in mainstream American comics, and the film itself is the first major cinematic production based on the character,” the museum says. “Black Panther illustrates the progression of blacks in film, an industry that in the past has overlooked blacks, or regulated them to flat, one-dimensional and marginalized figures. The film, like the museum, provides a fuller story of black culture and identity.”
Along with Boseman’s costume, the museum will feature a shooting script signed by co-writer and director Ryan Coogler, producer and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, executive producer Nate Moore, and co-writer and producer Joe Robert Cole. Attendees will also be able to see two pages of the spec script and 24 high-resolution production photographs. The Smithsonian also reports that it’s in the final stages of making the costume exhibit a permanent one in the museum.
Curator Rhea Combs praised the film’s powerful black characters, especially in regard to its female characters. “It was also nice to see women in dynamic warrior roles, as well as adept in the sciences and technology,” Combs says. “These are images many audiences have longed to see in mainstream films, but for too long haven’t.”