‘Black Panther’ is fast becoming one of the biggest superhero movies of of all-time, breaking Box Office records by raking in $218m on its debut weekend.
41-year-old actor, Chadwick Boseman who plays lead in the film, covers the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine. He speaks on being a part of the film, owning his blackness, playing the superhero, and more.
Read excerpts below:
On the world finally having its first African superhero movie: It’s a sea-change moment. I still remember the excitement people had seeing Malcolm X. And this is greater, because it includes other people, too. Everybody comes to see the Marvel movie.
On ensuring Wakandans had African accents: I had to push for that. I felt there was no way in the world I could do the movie without an accent. But I had to convince [the studio] it was something we couldn’t be afraid of. My argument was that we train the audience’s ear in the first five minutes – give them subtitles, give them whatever they need – and I believe they’ll follow it the same way they’ll follow an Irish accent or a Cockney accent. We watch movies all the time when this happens. Why all of a sudden is it ‘We can’t follow it’ when it’s African?
On embracing the sheer scale of the ‘Black Panther’ production: The money and manpower it takes to create this entire African world – it’s a huge production. But this is not Star Wars – this is a black superhero movie! What would it mean if it didn’t happen? You’d be saying there’s a second class of Marvel movies. A second-class citizenship.
On the films blackness being insperable from its appeal: Some [black] actors will say, ‘I don’t want to play a character just because he’s black,’ and that’s great, I’m not saying they’re wrong. But that’s missing all the richness that’s been whitewashed.