It has recently been discovered that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige had different plans for how the Wakandans in Black Panther would sound.
The introduction of African king and superhero Black Panther to the Marvel Cinematic Universe was something that Marvel superfans had wanted to see for a long time since the 1990’s after Wesley Snipes had attempted to produce the film. When Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced that Chadwick Boseman would be making his big debut as the character in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, he didn’t hesitate to also announce that he’d be getting a solo film in 2018. He instantly would become a fan-favorite character with a minimal amount of screentime or lines.
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Black Panther’s appearance in the MCU made waves with his aggressive combat and Boseman’s regal portrayal of a vengeful prince who had learned to not let the anger consume him was a highlight of the film. He commanded the role in a way that no other actor could, even if they tried. One of the most remarkable things about Boseman’s portrayal of Prince T’Challa is the convincing African accent that every Wakandan has been able to deliver in the franchise, but it’s been recently revealed that this was not always what Marvel Studios had planned for the character.
Boseman recently spoke to THR about his role as Prince T’Challa/Black Panther and was able to give the public an insight into the decision-making process behind bringing one of the most iconic black superheroes to the big screen. One of the biggest bombshells that he was able to reveal was that the studio originally did not plan to utilize African accents for the Wakandans in Civil War or Black Panther, but Boseman refused to portray the character until Marvel Studios eventually decided to side with him.
They felt that it was maybe too much for an audience to take. I felt the exact opposite — like, if I speak with a British accent, what’s gonna happen when I go home? It felt to me like a deal-breaker. I was like, ‘No, this is such an important factor that if we lose this right now, what else are we gonna throw away for the sake of making people feel comfortable?’
Of course, Wakanda may not be a real country but it is still set in Africa which is why it made so much sense for director Ryan Coogler to draw inspiration from the Xhosa dialect for the language spoken by Wakandans. This decision would not have been possible had Boseman made it a point to disagree adamantly with Feige and fellow Marvel execs about what was more accurate for the film. It also speaks to what sort of mindset Marvel Studios had going into production and what other changes they could have made to the project.
Thankfully, Marvel Studios did reconsider the possibility of not letting Wakanda be African and embrace the rich culture of the region which Boseman was heavily championing. However, there’s been no indication of if director Ryan Coogler was also in agreement with the star, but one can only hope he was interested in making the film as accurate to the continent as possible and that he was not just towing the studio’s line. Fans can expect to see more of Wakanda down the line in the sequel to Black Panther and later MCU outings.
Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) springs into action when an old enemy threatens the fate of his nation and the world.
Directed by Ryan Coogler, Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Sterling K. Brown, Andy Serkis and John Kani.
Black Panther is now available on Digital HD, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-Ray, and DVD.
What do you think of this news? Do you think this was the right decision for the MCU? Let us know in the comments below!