Major news for comic book fans and lovers of superhero films.
Chadwick Boseman (42, Get On Up) has been announced as the title character in the upcoming superhero film Black Panther. Boseman has made quite a name for himself in the past two years, playing baseball legend Jackie Robinson in 42 and “Soul Brother #1” James Brown in this year’s Get On Up.
Marvel Entertainment announced the rollout of several new films, expanding it’s cinematic universe tremendously over the next several years. And one of the most anticipated projects will be the Black Panther movie. Black Panther is a prominent Marvel superhero dating back to the mid-1960s. Born T’Challa and an heir of the ruling dynasty of the (fictional) African kingdom of Wakanda, Black Panther has superhuman senses and increased strength, speed, stamina, reflexes; granted to him by an ancient herb that connected him to the Wakandan Panther god. His duty as a protector was passed down by generations of previous Black Panthers and cemented when he defeated his uncle, who was the previous Black Panther.
The character was the first prominent African American comic book character at Marvel and broke ground in the comic book industry. In the 60s, he appeared alongside other Marvel mainstays such as the Fantastic Four, Captain America and the Avengers before starring in his own showcase in the Jungle Action series, beginning in 1973. He was then featured in a well-received 80s mini-series. By this time, several other black Marvel superheroes had been established and become popular, in particular the “Hero for Hire” Luke Cage and X-Men leader Storm.
Chadwick will also appear in the third entry in the popular Captain America series, Captain America: Civil War alongside Chris Evans (Cap) and Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man.) In the comics, Black Panther fought alongside Captain America against the superhero registration act–a storyline that’s the focus of the upcoming Captain America: Civil War. Boseman joined Evans and Downey onstage today at a press conference to announce the news.
“With Black Panther… He is definitively a big part of …Civil War. We will meet him in …Civil War, in costume,” Marvel president Kevin Feige said.