Posted on Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 by Ethan Anderton
The newest superhero in Captain America: Civil War is Black Panther, played by 42 and Get On Up star Chadwick Boseman. The comic book character is getting his own movie later on Marvel’s future slate, but his introduction happens in this sequel as a sort of middle ground between Captain America and Iron Man, even though he ultimately sides with the latter in this conflict.
However, Boseman isn’t exactly a superhero when we meet him in this movie, even though he’s a Black Panther, a title that has been passed down through his ancestors. Boseman is the leader of Wakanda, a politician and monarch, and with his own country’s safety potentially at risk from the kind of destruction we saw in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, it’s easy to see why he’s drawn into this conflict.
In our interview with Chadwick Boseman from the set of Civil War, we talk about his role in this epic conflict, his Wakandan accent, and just how miserable and hot he is when he has to put on the Black Panther suit, which his fellow cast members agree is just the worst. Find out all of that and more in out Captain America Civil War interview with Chadwick Boseman.
New Cat on the Block
As a new character, we’re meeting Black Panther, or rather T’Challa, for the first time, but that doesn’t mean this is an origin story. Boseman explains, “I’m just kind of thrown into the middle. It’s definitely not an origin story, no. It’s not an origin story. You meet me as the Prince of Wakanda. You meet me as a politician/monarch, not as a superhero.”
But even though we’re meeting him as the ruler of his own country, that doesn’t mean we’re going to actually see it yet. Boseman says, “I know you thought you were because of Age of Ultron, but it’s not happening.” We will get to hear what his Wakandan accent sounds like though.
Joe Russo complimented Boseman’s work to bring the character to life, saying, “He found a regional accent based on where Wakanda would be. Just an incredible, intense amount of detail.” Anthony Russo added, “He did great research on the very cultural aspects of the character. Even though it’s a fictional cultural, figuring out ways to tether it into real African culture.” Producer Nate Moore compared it to the creation of Sokovia and the accent that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver had in Age of Ultron.
There were even things that Boseman wanted to bring into the character that weren’t already in the script or even in the comic books. However, he was reluctant to get into specifics for fear of the wrath of Marvel, mostly because it sounds like these are details we won’t get to see until his own movie is in front of cameras:
There are definitely things that I think will show up more so later. I shouldn’t say that they’re not in the comic books, because they’ve been written by several different writers: [Jack] Kirby, Stan Lee, Christopher Priest — all of the writers have come up with different aspects of who he is. So you could take different things from each one, and they don’t contradict each other necessarily. The principals and essence of who he is are still there. He’s a little cooler in some of them. In Christopher Priest’s version, he doesn’t trust anybody, you know what I’m saying? All of it is good stuff to use. There’s a sense of him searching for himself in some of the ones in the ’80s, which I think is really good. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I think a lot of those things are good things to put into a movie.
Black Panther Isn’t a Superhero Exactly
What’s interesting about Black Panther is that all this culture and background not only informs who he is as a person, but also as a “superhero.” Boseman is hesitant to call him a superhero because that’s not how he’s seen in his country. The actor explains:
I think the difference in him is that he’s a ruler of a country. That’s the difference. I wouldn’t even call him a superhero. In the mythology of the country, he’s not a superhero. He’s a warrior, and it’s part of their tradition. It’s not like he’s like, “Who is that masked guy that’s doing this stuff?” Everybody knows it’s him, and they expect that it’s him, and they pray to God, or even him in some cases, that he would do the things that he’s doing. Which is much different than most of the superheroes in which you don’t know their identity and you don’t know when they might show up. There’s an expectation that’s much different. So that’s the main difference.
So Black Panther’s role in this fight is less about choosing sides as a hero whose loyal to one side or the other, and more about doing what’s best for his country. But he still has to hold his own against some pretty heavy-hitting superheroes, and it sounds like Boseman has been up to the task of training to make his character stand out in the big battles.
On the next page, find out about Black Panther’s fighting style and why everyone, including himself, thinks his outfit in the movie is just terrible.