Black Panther’s Role in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Revealed

     December 2, 2015


When Marvel Studios unveiled the first trailer for the superhero-stuffed Captain America: Civil War, folks were not only buzzing about the discord between Chris Evans’ Cap and Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, but also the brief look we got at a brand new Marvel superhero: Black Panther. Chadwick Boseman brings Marvel Comics’ first black superhero to life on the big screen in Civil War, and while he’s not the star of the film (that comes in Black Panther, which is slated for release in February 2018), the character certainly plays an integral role in the sequel’s storyline.

In EW’s latest issue, which chronicles all things Captain America: Civil War with one of the most embarrassing covers in its history (“Meow”? Really?), it’s revealed that Black Panther’s allegiance is in flux throughout Civil War, although he’s not particularly a fan of Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes (aka The Winter Soldier):

“He’s definitely not the life of the party in this instance. I think this is something true of the comic book character and the movie. You never quite know where he stands. There’s always a bit of concealing and mystery. So I think mysterious is more his boat. Not to say there’s not charm and he can’t be a ladies’ man and all that. It’s more like if there is humor, it’s more like James Bond.”


Image via Marvel

The story of Civil War finds Steve Rogers and Tony Stark at odds over something called the Sokovia Accords, which is a government mandate that arises as a result of collateral damage from the Avengers’ missions with the aim of curbing and policing their actions. Rogers is wholly against the action, while Stark—feeling guilty after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron—feels it may be necessary. Per Boseman, Panther figures into the proceedings because of his role at home in Wakanda:

“There definitely is a sort of tradition that he’s torn between, in terms of how things were done in the past and how things need to happen now in this new world. I think there’s perhaps a bit of a maverick there, and then there’s also a need to live up to traditions and his father’s legacy. And not even his father’s legacy, but the entire nation of Wakanda. I think those are the things you will see.”

The actor adds that while he and Rogers may go toe-to-toe, they’re actually quite similar underneath the suits:

“I love our scenes together because I do think they feel a sense of responsibility. I think they’re both very selfless people. They want the right thing, no one’s irrational, no one has an inflated ego.” (That’s got to be a dig at Iron Man, by the way.) “They’re family-first people,” Evans says. “I think outside of the suits we’d be friends, Steve and T’Challa.”


Image via Marvel

But how did Black Panther come to be in Captain America: Civil War in the first place? Well Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige says they needed a third party that audiences didn’t already know, and Black Panther became the obvious choice:

“We kept talking about ‘Somebody like Black Panther …’ After the third or fourth time that came up in a development meeting, someone said, ‘Can’t we just do the Black Panther?’ And we all looked at each other and said, ‘Yeah, I guess we could,’” Feige says. “We introduce him here, give him an arc, and make him a full character. We don’t just give him a cameo, to wave. He has his own conflict and his own people that he’s looking out for.”

His own people would be the folks in his homeland of Wakanda, and executive producer Nate Moore says Black Panther has a lot at stake because of his ambassador-like status:

“He’s someone who hasn’t necessarily made up his mind about either side and whose agenda isn’t exactly what Cap’s agenda or what Tony’s agenda is.  And I think that brings him into conflict weirdly with both characters at different times in the film. He is the prince of an African nation that has so far stayed very much sort of in the shadows. And eventually the film will draw him and his father out of the shadows.”


Image via Marvel

As for Black Panther’s suit, Boseman says it’s made of the same material as Cap’s shield, vibranium:

“The vibranium is a metal that is dynamic. It can change how it’s used. It’s not a liquid, but it has the ability to change shape and change form and still have its strength. I think there a lot of things about that in the mythology that I think has a lot of potential in terms of the storytelling… It’s not just about being durable, it has the ability to absorb energy. It’s not just like you hit it and it doesn’t take it. It has the ability to absorb the attack of another person and repel or respond to that attack. That’s part of the power.”

Given how we saw Panther being chased by Cap in the trailer, we can reasonably expect to see the two put their powers/suits to the test in some sort of brawl when the film hits theaters on May 6, 2016.

For more on Captain America: Civil War, peruse the recent links below:


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