Warning: This post contains one slight spoiler for Captain America: Civil War. It is nothing major and something many people expected, but if you want to go in as clean as possible, turn back now.
When Marvel made the announcement that the third Captain America movie would be titled Captain America: Civil War, they did so by bringing out Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. to square off on stage. The other surprise they had up their sleeve was ushering out Chadwick Boseman and announcing he would be playing Black Panther. While we have to wait 2 more years before Black Panther is released, the character makes his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut this weekend.
Joe and Anthony Russo are back to direct and were given the task of introducing one of the characters people have been clamoring for. Black Panther comes with his fair share of passionate fans that want to see him done justice on the big screen. With this, a lot of pressure was put on the shoulders of the brothers, both by fans and themselves. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, they talked about the pressure to do the character in the right way.
Joe: I love these characters. I love this storytelling. It’s a dream job to being work on these movies and with Marvel with people that we love, actors that we love. Black Panther is so revered. It’s his first time on screen. We put so much pressure on ourselves. I think more pressure for that character alone than we did anything in the movie just because as a comic book fan I thought it was so important to get the interpretation of that character right.
Luckily for the Russos, they got a phenomenal actor with Boseman to help carry that burden. Their guidance certainly helped, but they credit the actor for bringing the necessary experience and emotion to truly make the character stand out within a packed movie.
Anthony: You can see from the other roles that he’s done that he builds a character from a very deep place. Like what he did with Panther in this movie was remarkable. He has a martial arts history that he himself was able to use and incorporate into how the character moved. [It] was based upon influences around where the fictional country exists in Africa and he basically stayed in that accent throughout the entire shoot so that he wouldn’t lose it. Even when he was off camera he would speak in that accent.
Speaking of the accent, in a separate interview also with EW, Joe briefly touched upon the inspiration for the Wakandan accent. Luckily for them, one of the cast members spoke a South African language and was able to teach it to Boseman.
Joe: The language we used for Wakandan is called Xhosa. John Kani, the actor who plays T’Challa’s father in the movie, speaks the language and taught it to Chadwick. It’s spoken by 7.6 million people in South Africa.
It is great to see them represent real life cultures and making his accent based on a real language certainly helps with the authenticity of the character. Let us know your thoughts on Black Panther in the comments below!
Captain America: Civil War is out in theaters across the world tonight.