Black Panther, Marvel’s newest superhero, made his debut in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ (out now on DVD and Blu-Ray) and Chadwick Boseman - the actor who’ll also play him in his own 2018 standalone film - admits it was “a pretty good way to be introduced.”
While he couldn’t tell us much about his upcoming solo film, he hinted that the film would explore the history of his character’s home country Wakanda, and the legacy of the Black Panther mantle, past and present.
His character, T’Challa, inherits the title of Black Panther during the course of ‘Civil War’ after his father T’Chaka, the King of Wakanda, is murdered in an explosion at the UN.
But, whatever you do, don’t call ‘Civil War’ Black Panther’s origin story.
“’Civil War’ was a jumping off point for the Black Panther character,” Boseman told Yahoo Movies, “It’s not necessarily an origin story because he remains a mystery through most of the movie. When I take the mask off and it’s revealed that it’s the Prince of Wakanda, that’s the guy who’s father was just killed – it’s a surprise.”
“So then, you’re learning - as you watch the movie - what his powers are, because you’re not sure. He remains a mystery through most of the movie.”
‘Creed’ and ‘Fruitvale Station’ director Ryan Coogler is set to direct the upcoming solo film that boasts an impressive supporting cast of Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, and Danai Gurira, and it’s rumoured to largely take place in the fictional African nation of Wakanda, the home of a long line of Black Panthers.
Above: L-R Ryan Coogler, Danai Gurira, Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B Jordan (Getty)
“If you saw the tease at the end [of ‘Civil War’] in Wakanda, that’s more mystery there so I think there’s a lot to reveal about the character.
“There is definitely more of his origin in ‘Black Panther’. You’re going to learn about Wakanda, its culture, its traditions, the past. You can go through all the comic books and know that there’s more Panthers that have existed in the past - that’s origin.”
The Black Panther is a ceremonial title bestowed on the chief of the Panther tribe in Wakanda, but as T’Challa learned in the comics, despite it being a hereditary title, you also have to earn it too.
Boseman, the actor, had to earn his way to the title of Black Panther too. His star-making performances as Jackie Robinson in ‘42′ and as James Brown in ‘Get On Up’ turned heads at Marvel, but he nearly missed the call from the studio because he hadn’t switched on international roaming on his phone.
“I was doing a film festival in Zurich, and I when I got the call [from Marvel], I was actually on the red carpet. My agent called me and the funny thing was, I didn’t have my international calling on until that day. That same day I got that call from my agent saying 'you need to answer your phone in five minutes' and I said 'I can’t, because I’m on the red carpet!’
“So as soon as I got off the carpet, I was riding in the car having this phone call with Marvel where they were basically saying 'Hey, we heard you’re interested in this character’ – and they didn’t even say who the character was, that’s how they did it – and they said 'if you’re interested in that character, we want to bring the character to life, are you interested in doing it?’
And I said, 'if it’s who I think you’re talking about, yes! Yes, I would love to do it.’”
‘Captain America: Civil War’ is out now on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Download.
Image credits: Disney/Marvel Studios/Getty