To celebrate the release of Captain America: Civil War on Blu-Ray and DVD this week, ComicBook.com’s Jim Viscardi hosted a little live Q&A on the Marvel Studios Facebook with fans with none other than Chadwick Boseman, who plays T’Challa, a.k.a. the Black Panther. Many questions were asked of Boseman during this session. But when asked if any dangling plot threads from Civil War would carry over into his solo film, in a couple of years, Boseman had this to say:
“I think that’s why they made his arc so complete, so that it is contained. You have to, in doing that, make sure you leave room for a lot of things that you want to happen. I can’t say what they are but that was thought out by me, thought out by the producers, the directors, I’m sure Stan Lee had something to say about it … That’s definitely part of the process.”
While Boseman doesn’t let any potential plot spoilers slip, T’Challa has many directions in which he could go after Civil War. He learned to let go of his quest for vengeance, by not only sparing Zemo (Daniel Brühl), but also by harboring the man he had once believed to be his father’s killer, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), in T’Challa’s home country of Wakanda.
From the looks of T’Challa’s final scene in Civil War, he may also be allowing Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) to take residence there. We don’t see the other members of “Team Cap,” but seeing as how Rogers just busted Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) out of prison, they could potentially seek safe haven in Wakanda as well. Whether this is a catalyst for what brings Wakanda out of seclusion and more into the public eye remains to be seen when Black Panther comes out in February 2018.
Captain America: Civil War gave us our first real look at Black Panther after the character was teased in Iron Man 2 and Avengers: Age of Ultron. It was a nice way for audiences to gauge whether this was a character that they truly wanted to see again. Based on the critical and general audience response to Boseman’s performance, it sounds like they do.
Something that makes Black Panther truly important is that it will be the first Marvel Studios film to be led by a character who is not a white male. There have been superhero movies led by people of color, but far too few. Black Panther is one of the films that could reverse that trend and demonstrate the value of diversity within the genre. When asked if he felt the weight and pressure of such a momentous role and film in an interview with Digital Spy, Chadwick Boseman acknowledged a sense of history, but also the need to focus on the present day tasks that come with actually making the movie.
“Only at certain moments does it feel like it’s historic. I think I felt it when we were on the stage together at Comic-Con when all the other actors came out, and [director Ryan Coogler] was there, and [Marvel Studios president Kevin] Feige was there. I felt it at that moment.
“But on a day-to-day basis I can’t think about how big it is. I have to think about what I have to do today to be ready for the moment when the cameras roll. And when the camera rolls, I’m just thinking about the scene I’m doing.”
It is definitely hard for Chadwick Boseman to be totally focused on how he’ll do Black Panther justice again, since the cameras don’t start rolling on that film until January of 2017. But one thing you can definitely tell is that Boseman is legitimately excited to be playing this character. Boseman has already played his fair share of historically significant characters (and real people), including Jackie Robinson in 42, James Brown in Get on Up, and Thurgood Marshall in the upcoming Marshall. The fact that he is so excited about playing a fictional comic-book superhero king speaks miles about that particular character in the MCU.
In the aforementioned live Q&A earlier this week, Ryan Viscardi took time away from the fan questions to ask Chadwick Boseman a particularly interesting question: does he feel Black Panther is “ready to hold his own” against Thanos (Josh Brolin) in Avengers: Infinity War? The answer was obvious to Boseman.
“Sure yeah. Black Panther is ready to go toe to toe against anybody.”
Boseman clearly knows where T’Challa’s power levels are when it comes to rest of the Avengers with this answer. We saw a good glimpse of his supreme fighting skills throughout Captain America: Civil War. I mean, T’Challa didn’t even to need his vibranium weave Panther suit to hold his own against a Terminator-like, mind-controlled Bucky. He more than held his own against the likes of Captain America and Hawkeye. But Thanos is on a whole other level. We have however seen Black Panther don the Infinity Gauntlet, armed with all six Infinity Gems, in the comics recently in Secret Wars (2015) #6. Whether we see that in Avengers: Infinity War is anybody’s guess.
Regardless of whether he takes on Thanos or not, I am looking forward to any opportunity to see Chadwick Boseman dominating the big screen again as T’Challa. I, like most people, loved Boseman’s performance as the character. He encapsulated every aspect of the character to make him dynamic as well as entertaining. Obviously the next time we will for sure see him is Black Panther. Whether we see him again in Avengers: Infinity War, or in post-credits scenes leading up to that film, I would welcome it. Because unlike T’Challa with Hawkeye, I do care.
Black Panther arrives in theaters on February 16, 2018.