Black Panther managed to surpass any and all expectations of a superhero flick as Chadwick Boseman gracefully donned the mantle of the Marvel character and injected a sense of authority. The talented actor said in a recent interview that he and director Ryan Coogler pushed back on Marvel Studios wanting the characters to have American or British accents and instead fought to keep the sound of Wakanda intact in their lines.
THR’s “Awards Chatter” writes:
The idea of the character having an African accent — Xhosa, specifically — was briefly a point of contention between him and Marvel. “They felt that it was maybe too much for an audience to take,” Boseman acknowledges. “I felt the exact opposite — like, if I speak with a British accent, what’s gonna happen when I go home?” He continues, “It felt to me like a deal-breaker,” adding, “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?'” This time, unlike 15 years earlier with All My Children, Boseman spoke up for what was important to him — and got it.
As production on Black Panther got underway in Atlanta, with a cast and crew filled with more people of color than virtually any major motion picture before, Boseman was in a position not unlike the one in which Robinson had been decades earlier: The eyes of the world were on him and his movie, and if he or it failed to perform, Boseman and the movie would be letting down not just Marvel, but millions of lovers of Black Panther comics and people of color around the world who had never seen a black superhero at the center of a Marvel movie. “Ryan and I would always compete about whose career would be done if this didn’t work,” he volunteers with a laugh.
As stated in the piece, the row with Marvel and Boseman over the accent wasn’t contentious at all and things worked out amicably. The studio is already working on a sequel to the film, which means a lot of what we saw at the end of Infinity War is going to get the pullback effect, right?