In an interview with Screen Rant, Chadwick Boseman has explained just why he was drawn to the character of the Black Panther.
2018 is a thrilling year for Marvel fans, the ten-year anniversary of the MCU. First film out the gate is Black Panther, due for release in February. This blockbuster promises to be unlike anything Marvel has made to date. It will place Chadwick Boseman’s King T’Challa in his cultural context; as protector and new monarch of the fictional African nation of Wakanda. It’s Boseman’s second appearance in the role, and he wowed fans and critics alike in Captain America: Civil War. In a recent set visit, Screen Rant got the opportunity to speak to Boseman about the role. Naturally, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to ask why he went for the part in the first place.
As Boseman noted, this is Marvel, and “they have a good batting average in terms of successful films, and films that people love.” When he joined up, Marvel had recently wrapped up the MCU’s second phase, and was about to begin work on an ambitious slate that would run through to 2019. Phase 2 had included remarkable successes like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy, proving just how diverse and creative the MCU could truly be. Now, years later, Black Panther will be the 18th film in the MCU. It will follow on from a string of critical and box office successes, and ticket sales alone have suggested Black Panther will be even more of a hit.
For Boseman, though, the name “Marvel” wasn’t enough. He praises the studio because “they tend to be offering people stuff that’s interesting and good and wanting to push the envelopes in certain places.” Boseman clearly signed up to Black Panther because he believes this film will continue the trend.
“So this one I think is obviously you’ve never seen a movie like this before so it’s just cool. For me, every project, it has to be something that’s challenging and cool and that’s a challenge for me. It keeps me interested. So that’s all that really matters. This is definitely one of them.”
Black Panther promises to be a revolutionary superhero film. It’s the first MCU movie to star a black superhero, and behind-the-scenes Marvel has recruited a unique and diverse crew as well. Director Ryan Coogler has spared no effort in creating the fictional African country of Wakanda, and it’s possible no superhero film has ever demonstrated world-building to this degree.
The challenge for Boseman is, of course, to become King of this fictional country. There’s always been a sense that the Black Panther embodies his nation, that he’s the living embodiment of Wakandan science and tradition. He’s both traditional champion and scientific superhero, a perfect blend of past and future that is uniquely African. Little wonder Boseman describes this role as a challenge. If the trailers are anything to go by, he’s certainly up to the task.
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