Martin Freeman’s Everett K. Ross will not be a bumbling idiot in Black Panther. Freeman was an excellent addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe when he made his debut in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. From his appearance on the original British version of The Office, to his popular roles in The Hobbit, Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Sherlock, Martin Freeman has certainly earned his nerd cred. He has been a fan favorite in almost anything that he has appeared in, and even though his appearance in Civil War was brief, the idea that we could see him pop up in the future was tantalizing. With Freeman’s Sherlock co-star Benedict Cumberbatch playing Doctor Strange, many have been clamoring for Everett to appear alongside his British friend. But before that happens, Black Panther will reunite Freeman with yet another past costar: The Hobbit’s Andy Serkis, who plays Ulysses Klaw in the upcoming film. Now thanks to the man himself, we have a few new details about the character of Everett Ross.
According to Freeman:
He is the coolest man in the room. He has some authority. He’s good at his job. I think we’re going as realistic as you can be in a heightened universe. It would be slightly incredible for him not to be good at his job and not to be competent at this position that he’s at. He’s good at his job. He’s well traveled. He’s well versed in the ways of the world. Wakanda is gonna be a surprise to him.
Collider further tells us:
Ross finds himself in an interesting position in Wakanda on two fronts: He’s used to dealing with superheroes, so he’s more exasperated by the Wakandans’ distrustful nature than dumbfounded by their technology. He’s also caught between his loyalties to the C.I.A. and his respect for the isolated and protected civilization.
This is very different to Everett Ross’s persona in the comics. As a matter of fact, the character of Everett Ross was based off of Matthew Perry’s Chandler Bing in the hit TV show Friends! Everett was created by Christopher Priest and debuted in 1998’s Ka-Zar #17. He went from there to Priest’s Black Panther run, and is mostly known for serving as the ambassador to Wakanda. In the comics, Everett Ross was a fish out of water. Bumbling and awkward, he was a polar opposite to the efficiency and technological skill of T’Challa. According to Priest, he was inspired to create Everett Ross after watching the Friends episode “The One With The Blackout” (one of my personal favorites). In that iconic episode, Chandler is stuck inside a ATM vestibule with a Victoria’s Secret model during a New York City blackout, and it is just about the most hilarious, awkward thing you’ll ever see. If you’ve seen this episode and read the comics…that’s basically a comic-accurate Everett Ross. The movies definitely seem to be going in a different direction. Civil War depicted the character as a competent agent, and Black Panther certainly seems to continue that approach. From everything we’ve heard, the tone of this movie will be very similar to that of Winter Soldier and Civil War. Personally, I appreciate the choice. As much as I love Chandler Bing, I like that this film will not be leaning heavily on this sort of comedy. What are your thoughts? Do you like the changes? Let us know in the comments below!
Black Panther debuts in theaters February 16, 2018.