Marvel Studios recently unveiled its Phase 3 lineup of films, which will see currently established heroes joined by a bevy of new characters - some of which could fill out a new roster of Avengers in the future. Chief among those additions will be Black Panther, who is set to be portrayed by 42 star Chadwick Boseman for at least five pictures.
Fans have been clamoring for the King of Wakanda to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Marvel President of Production Kevin Fiege listened. T'Challa will be a key figure in the MCU for the years ahead, making his debut in 2016's Captain America: Civil War before leading his own vehicle in 2017. It's thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy really, that a "third-tier" character such as Black Panther is now getting a shot at big screen glory.
In an interview with EW, Boseman addressed how he's in the same boat as most casual moviegoers; having only recently becoming familiar with the property despite being a comic book reader in his youth.
"I’d heard of him, but I hadn’t really been like I’m a huge Black Panther fan. I think once you get into the film business, though, you start thinking about things that would be really cool to do, and then I fell in love with [the character]. For me, that’s going to be the case for most people who watch it, for most people who see this character emerge inside the Marvel world."
Readers of our "5 Reasons Why Black Panther Could be a Great Marvel Movie" post are well aware of the "really cool" things Marvel and Boseman can do now that Black Panther is part of the MCU. The fictional nation of Wakanda has a rich history in the comic pages, which opens plenty of opportunities to produce a fascinating film. These days, global icon status (like Batman or Spider-Man) isn't a necessity to make a hit superhero movie. You just need the right amount of creativity to draw viewers in.
More and more talented thespians are working alongside the big Hollywood studios to lend their abilities to comic book tentpoles. Those who have been nominated for (or won) Oscars like Downey, Christian Bale, and Mark Ruffalo have taken part in the superhero movement, adding some strong artistic credibility to the genre thrills most of these projects provide.
Boseman touched on this in his interview as well, saying that the way Marvel handles business was very appealing to him as an artist:
"For me, I’ve always been a person that says I’m not really looking to put on a suit and become a comic-book person. It’s never really been something in my scope, as far as a goal of mine. I’m more the person that says, 'I want to do these really cool independent films with great characters with great directors, or studio films that have critical acclaim.' But I think with Marvel, you have the best of both worlds."
It's easy to see where Boseman is coming from, as some of Marvel's recent works like The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy rank among the most well-received blockbusters in the last few years. The studio's commitment to offering audiences entertaining stories that blend multiple genres and showcase how the "American myths" relate to us average Joes is what makes them stand out above the rest. If they keep attracting actors like Boseman, they'll remain on top for the foreseeable future.
Black Panther will be in theaters November 3, 2017.
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