Chadwick Boseman on the Significance of 'Black Panther:' 'We Need to See That Image'

Kevin Polowy
·Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment

The cultural significance of playing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first black lead superhero is not lost on Chadwick Boseman. “We need to see it. We need to see that image,” the Black Panther star told Yahoo Movies at Comic-Con Saturday shortly after the Marvel panel. The movie is scheduled to hit theaters on Feb. 16, 2018.

“It is a big deal, but we need for it to not be a big deal. We need to be something that’s commonplace to have,” said the 39-year-old actor about the Wakandan crime fighter who was Marvel Comics’ first black superhero and made his movie debut in Captain America: Civil War. “There are some little kids who don’t think it’s a big deal for a black man to be president…. We have the opportunity to change people’s perspectives and viewpoints, and hopefully we do it.”

Related: ‘Black Panther’ Reveals Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong'o Character Details

Boseman’s turn as Black Panther one of the most well-received aspects of the summer hit Civil War, and there’s been a palpable sense of excitement around the 2018 release, especially as director Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) and costars Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave) and Michael B. Jordan (Creed) joined the project. All four came out on stage in San Diego, where they also announced The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira had been added to the cast.

“When we first got together, it was like group hug,” said Jordan about his future collaborators (the film goes into production in early 2017, according to Coogler). “The fact that we all get a chance to come together and do a project and tell a story about a Marvel character that’s been around since the beginning and tell a new perspective is pretty cool.”