You could file this under too funny to be true, if it wasn’t very much true. As much as we would like Black Panther‘s Wakanda to be a real nation, it isn’t. But the name does share its pronunciation with the real-life Wauconda, Illinois, which, as of now, is a bit unfortunate.
That’s because some fans have decided to contact the town mayor’s office asking about things like the fictional metal vibranium. This may be hilarious for us on the outside, but it is creating a bit of trouble for those who live in Wauconda. More on the story below.
Since the film’s release, Black Panther has been met with commercial and critical success. While the film does make some ties to the real world by visiting real-life places in Korea and Oakland, California, that does not mean Wakanda is real.
However Wauconda, IL is very much real, and in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Alise Homola, executive assistant to the village administrator and mayor, said that the mayor has been receiving calls and emails about the vibranium supply. Homola, who knew of the film but not of its plot, seemed to be confused by the situation, jokingly wondering if there was a full moon outside.
Wauconda is located in Lake County, IL, with a population of around 13,758, and is about an hour away from Chicago.
While these calls are obviously jokes, some of the calls have gone as far as people shouting “Wakanda Forever!” Again, if you haven’t seen the movie, you might be confused by the declaration.
It has even gone as far as the town’s high school principal having to address that they would not change their mascot from a bulldog to a black panther. The city seems to be enjoying their newfound popularity, which will probably fade away within a few months, give or take.
Other cities seem to be joining in on creating their own. In Atlanta, where the film was shot at Pinewood Studios, the airport offered flights to the fictional nation of Wakanda:
Black Panther is making a statement in more ways than one. While it is creating a lot of fun, the film obviously means a lot more to people than the occasional funny tweet. The film has surpassed all our expectations, earning more than Justice League‘s total box office and surpassing Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘s four-day run. This marks the biggest opening for an African-American director. The film has also had a few thought-provoking takes on social issues that affect us today, and it is beautifully woven into the fabric of the film.
Directed by Ryan Coogler, Black Panther is out in theaters now. Be sure to check out our review, trailers, and more if you missed them.