Yesterday, it was announced that Ryan Coogler’s production company, Proximity Media, has signed a five-year deal with Disney to produce shows for their television outlets, including Disney+. The deal also includes development “for Disney’s other outlets as well”, which could mean shows for Hulu, or maybe a docu-series for National Geographic, or a sports show for ESPN, no one really knows. There are no specifics about what Coogler and his team will be doing, except for one thing: a Disney+ series set in Wakanda. Will it be an adaptation of Roxane Gay’s Eisner Award-winning comic, World of Wakanda? A show about the Dora Milaje? Who knows! Again, no specifics! All we know is that Ryan Coogler will develop a Disney+ series set in Wakanda.
Lainey asked if the people of Wakanda pay taxes, and I, too, have many questions about how Wakanda works. For instance, do they have money? Up until T’Challa decided to open international relations, Wakanda was totally isolated from the world stage, does this mean they did no international banking/commerce? And if they’re not doing those things, do they even NEED money? Wakanda is a post-scarcity society where its citizens’ basic needs are met, so if there is no international business, what do they need money for? Wouldn’t it just be like passing the same five dollars back and forth among all the citizens? Here are just a few of the questions about how Wakanda works that I have:
- Do they have money?
- Do they pay taxes?
- If they DON’T have money, is “taxes” just like, compulsory community service?
- What’s the Wakanda arts scene like? (Lainey follow-up: I would love to know about the Wakanda fashion scene?!)
- What’s the most popular food item in Wakanda?
- Do they have flying cars?
- Are the members of the council elected officials, or are they, too, hereditary positions like the monarch?
- What do people do for jobs? Whether they have money or not, do people even work in Wakanda? Like if you’re not a big science brain that can work for the nationalized engineering office, and you don’t join the military, what do you DO all day?
As you can see, there is PLENTY of territory to mine for a Wakanda-based TV show. Just seeing how this country works would be interesting for a few episodes. Ryan Coogler will also work on other Marvel-set Disney+ shows, though again, there are zero details about what that really means. It seems like the Wakanda show is the priority. I hope it’s just a show about the inner workings of Wakanda because I am SUPER curious about what a true, post-scarcity society looks like. The closest we’ve gotten to that in recent science fiction is the movie Her. I would like more speculative fiction centered on the question of what people do all day when we just don’t have to work so damn much. I feel like that might happen in our lifetimes and no one is really is considering it. Except, maybe, the people of Wakanda, who may or may not have money or pay taxes and who definitely don’t have to work all day.