Ever since Captain America: Civil War arrived in movie theaters, fans and critics have universally praised Chadwick Boseman’s take on Black Panther. One of the many highlights in the film, the wait to his 2018 solo film is even harder. Our friends at Comic Book Resources caught up with Boseman earlier this year at San Diego Comic-Con. Among the interview questions, Boseman discussed Civil War, the upcoming solo film, and the current Black Panther comic run by writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and illustrator Brian Steelfreeze.
When asked about his character’s introduction into the MCU and jumping into an ensemble cast, Boseman gave a great answer:
They already had a working language. All the other actors who had worked together before, they already had their little things that they do together, For instance, [Anthony] Mackie and [Chris] Evans, if you’re in a scene with them, before every take, they have this banter that they do back and forth; and then they go into the scene. I shouldn’t say every take, but there’s definitely play between the actors that then transfers to play between the characters. If you’re not already part of that, you’re not used to their rhythm. Everybody has those things. Sebastian [Stan] has his own.
It’s just coming in and learning everybody’s rhythm. When you’re dealing with really great actors, how people get into each moment — how they get into a scene — is very important to them. You don’t want to step on their toes, and you also want to be able to do your own thing. It’s just that, really.
On Panther’s journey throughout Civil War and what makes him a hero:
I feel like you get a chance to see that he’s not going to be a selfish ruler. He’s not going to be a dictator. He’s not going to be a person that does things purely for his own gain. That he does have a heroic aspect at the heart of a hero; of a leader. You can pull for him, because he’s merciful. And it leaves room also for him to do things that are not necessarily perfect.
A few people have said to me, “I thought you were a villain at first.” They didn’t have the prior history of the character. And they enjoyed that. They thought I was going to end up being a villain. That’s telling to me. I feel like it’s a good thing that we were able to create that context where he’s going after things for his own reasons, not necessarily good or bad, but ultimately that you can create something that is universally good — that merciful aspect — I think is a good thing for the character.
Many people made note of T’Challa’s reserved personality compared to other characters in the MCU. Boseman embraces this aspect and direction for the film:
It’s funny, because on one hand, the Marvel movies that I’ve liked the most are the ones that are funny. I love “Ant-Man.” But for me, most of the time the darker superhero movies are the ones that I gravitate towards, that I love the most. So I’m glad that I’m not in an “Ant-Man.” I’m glad that the tone of [“Black Panther”] may be a little grittier. I just wanted to establish that from the beginning, that that’s what we were doing. That that’s what I intend to do. I feel like we’ll end up in a place that I’ve always wanted to be when I look at superhero movies. Those are the ones I like the most. It’s exciting to do that.
Chadwick goes on to discuss how having a black cast, director and villain as it relates to diversity and more:
I feel the energy. The image itself opens people’s minds up. You can talk about it all you want, you can have it in a comic book, you can even do an animated series, but when you see real people doing it, it changes something inside of you. It’s going to be a big deal because there’s not just Black people or people of African descent that want to see it, I think everybody wants to see it. That’s the beautiful thing. I truly believe there are more people who want to see it than don’t want to see it, especially after being here.
It also turns out he knows Black Panther writer Ta-Nehisi Coates ! Of course he’s read Coates’ and Steelfreeze’s current BP run right?
Yeah, I have. I’ve known Ta-Nehisi for years. I’ve known him from when he was in DC, when he was at Howard. I’m excited for him, just knowing him personally. I think he’s doing great work. I think his work, whether it be directly or not, it’s already affecting where the film goes, and the film is probably affecting him, as well. I think that’s a great conversation between the two mediums.
We cannot wait to see where Marvel, Coogler and Boseman will take this character. There’s a reason #BlackPantherSoLit has become a hashtag!
Black Panther is slated to arrive in theaters Feb 16th, 2018.