Chadwick Boseman Discusses The Influence Black History Has On ‘Black Panther’

Following the massive success of Captain America: Civil War in terms of both the fans and the box office numbers, fans have begun to look forward to the following Marvel Cinematic Universe movies with even higher anticipation. Civil War was praised for several reasons, including the addition of new superheroes to it’s already loaded roster, one of these characters being Black Panther. Black Panther, who was portrayed by Chadwick Boseman, received positive reception by many fans and critics for his performance which was the first the character on the big screen. Following the characters success in Civil War, fans can expect to see Black Panther return in 2018 with a standalone film, which will be the first MCU movie featuring an African American protagonist.

The director of Black Panther, Ryan Coogler, has stated his intentions of creating a movie with a cast comprising of “90%” Africans or African Americans and his hopes of filming the movie in Africa to give the film authenticity. It has been made apparent race will be made an important aspect of the film, and Chadwick Boseman recently discussed its impact during an interview with io9. The interview began with Boseman stating his intentions of avoiding the stereotypes associated with black characters in movies, specifically the “Magical Negro” stereotype. He was quoted, saying:

“Well, he’s there for his own purpose. He’s not there… usually what happens is “well, he did this in this scene and now he’s doing [something else contradictory] and that doesn’t even fit the character.” That’s the Magical Negro thing. But, I think we were very cognizant about making a character that had his own through-line, his own intent and he wasn’t going to waver for anybody else’s story. Anytime that I felt like that was about to happen, I’d be like ‘nah, this is what he wants. You can do whatever you wanna do but this is what I feel like he needs to be doing.’ I feel like that’s the key.

During Civil War, revenge was the main goal for T’Challa, fueling his emotionally motivated venture across the globe to take the life of Bucky, who took the life of his father and the former king of his country. Boseman mentioned the the character’s motives and how it differs from those of the fellow superheroes in the MCU, which ties in to the character’s lineage.

I think the main thing is just keeping it very clear that he has his own arc and his own things that he wants and desires. He only changes that when something strikes a chord at his core. It strikes a chord at what I think is his lineage and heritage and what he’s been taught, at what he’s been groomed to be. He can’t make that shift at the end of the movie unless he’s been groomed to make that shift already. And even though we don’t see that grooming, that’s actually the first glimpse into Wakanda before you see that tag at the very end.”

Boseman continued discussing the influence black culture had on his performance in Civil War, as well as the impact it will have on his performances in his upcoming portrayals of the character. The actor mentioned the many aspects of black history he can reference, which are all helpful in channeling the mind-set of an African King on-screen who has his own rich history.

“There are a lot of different things to pull from. You can look to all these different civilizations that existed in Africa. The Egyptians. The Mali, who are believed to have been a satellite nation of ancient Kemet. The Zulu. You can go so many different places. It could be Ethiopia, which went a long time without being conquered as well. So, just pulling from all those things and finding an attachment and a pride to them and then being very specific and doing my own DNA test and finding where I come from, what my ancestry is. Once you have the role, people want to give you things. People will reach out and say “hey, I want to train you” or “hey, I want you to meet this babalao who wants to read you.” I’m being approached with all types of things that have been helpful to the process.”

After Boseman’s powerful performance in Civil War, fans can expect more of the same in Black Panther which is shaping up to be one of the more highly anticipated Marvel films in recent memory. As the film is set to take place in the fictional country of Wakanda, home of King T’Challa, it appears Chadwick Boseman, Ryan Coogler, and the rest of the cast are all determined to supply fans with a movie that is reflective of the rich and powerful history of both Africans and African Americans in the world.

Chadwick Boseman will return as Black Panther in his first solo film which is scheduled to arrive in theaters on February 16th of 2018.

Source: Heroic Hollywood