Earlier this year we traveled to Wakanda for the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film to feature an almost entirely black cast. The world of Black Panther featured stunning technology, costumes, and landscapes in the fictional African country of Wakanda. But according to star Chadwick Boseman, Marvel was hesitant to have the actor use a Wakandan accent in the film.
On a new podcast for The Hollywood Reporter, Boseman spoke about fighting to keep T'Challa's African accent in the film.
"[Marvel] felt that it was maybe too much for an audience to take," said Boseman. "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?'"
Boseman also described how timely it was for Black Panther to come out in the current environment as an aspirational example of a powerful African country — even if it's fictional.
"We were pulling from the great empires; we were pulling from the hairstyles and the culture and the clothing; we were pulling from mixtures of politics that exist; and we were trying to create, not a perfect world, but a leader and a country that was aspirational, that gets it right," he noted.
Black Panther broke several records when it hit theaters in February, staying at the top of the box office for weeks. Just months later, audiences visited Wakanda again as it played a central role in Avengers: Infinity War. Here's hoping we get the chance to visit the wonderful land of Wakanda again soon.