While Black Panther maybe be featured on Team Iron Man in the “Captain America: Civil War” posters and promotional art, it’s been noted many times that the hero’s role in the film isn’t as simple as choosing one side. IGN’s set report from “Civil War’s” Atlanta set details the depths of Chadwick Boseman’s portrayal of Black Panther, which began with the actor’s in-depth research.
“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,” said co-director Anthony Russo. Fellow director Joe Russo added: “He found a regional accent based on where Wakanda would be. Just an incredible, intense amount of detail.”
Boseman also mixed his real world research with reading the Marvel Comics source material. “I think what you try to do is just get your hands on every single comic book you can find that has the character in it, or him being mentioned or anything. I’ve just tried to read them all, not like it’s really work. It is work — don’t get me wrong — it is work, but it’s just sort of reading them like a kid, you know? Because when you just read it like it’s work, you’re just trying to get through it. So I think it’s putting yourself in that mind frame to go through the mythology in a fun way. And then, also, I’ve gone to South Africa, gone to some places, to see some things that I think relate to the character, and let those things sort of fuel your workouts, fuel your sessions when you work on the part.”
Boseman also said that the character is quite a bit different from the heroes we’ve seen in Marvel movies so far, like Captain America and Iron Man. “I think the difference in him is that he’s a ruler of a country,” said Boseman. “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.”
Co-screenwriter Christopher Markus spoke about the character’s place in the film, saying that bringing Black Panther into “Civil War” ahead of his solo film debut was too good of an opportunity to pass up. “Panther has a great place in the story, and Wakanda has a great place in the story,” said Markus. “So that even if he wasn’t the seed of a franchise, he’d be a good character with a justified place in the movie. There were times early on where we were getting character overload, where [we thought] ‘Maybe that just outta be Joe Blow from wherever, not Black Panther,’ but it’s too good. It’s just too good.”
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo and starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan and more, “Captain America: Civil War” opens on May 6, 2016. “Black Panther” hits theaters on February 16, 2018.