So, Black Panther has been out in theaters for two weeks now, and you've seen it twice, you've bought the excellent comics if you hadn't been reading them already, you've read every profile of Chadwick Boseman and Ryan Coogler, and you've figured out how to turn your bedroom into Shuri's lab. Think you've exhausted every angle of Black Panther fandom? Well, have you tried the soap opera angle? Did you even know Boseman and Michael B. Jordan played the exact same character on All My Children? We didn't either, but thanks to the folks at soapcentral.com, and Dan J. Kroll specifically, now we do. (Which makes sense, since, uh, finding the soap opera angle is pretty much their job.)
Here's how it all went down. In 2003, a character named Reggie Porter debuted on All My Children, portrayed by Chadwick Boseman. He first appeared, as so many soap characters do, at the hospital of the town, though instead of suffering from that daytime TV perennial, amnesia, he was the victim of a stab wound. An action-packed episode ensued; Porter ended up threatening a hospital worker with some scissors. A week or two goes by and Porter returns. Again, in typical soap opera fashion, the character has changed dramatically ... into a different actor. In this case: Michael B. Jordan. (Somewhere perhaps a Marvel Cinematic All My Children Universe exists in which this all has significance, though you may have to throw in A Wrinkle in Time to tie it all together.)
Boseman has yet to talk much about his brief time on soaps, but, as Soap Central also notes, Michael B. Jordan, who stayed longer in the role, spoke about it to GQ in 2015, detailing both the pros and cons of his soapstar role. "You work on a show like All My Children -- we all know what it is, but you're still able to grow outside of it," he told the magazine. "It's the perfect situation. I learned, I grew as an actor, I worked with professionals. I got paid." Still, the role was disappointing for obvious reasons. "No dad, no mom, a f**king stereotypical black role in a soap opera." continued Jordan. "I saw the stereotype, so moving forward I was like, 'Nah, those are the roles I don't want to play.'"
All the more reason to celebrate this year's Black Panther, and look forward to an epic, expansive franchise in the making. We can't wait to see what the Wakandans have in store for Infinity War.