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Most people are familiar with the standard operating procedure when it comes to auditions in Hollywood. An actor prepares a scene or is given pages of a script to work from, sits or stands in front of group of people (director, producers, casting director, etc.) in a room, and performs in hopes of being seen as the perfect fit for a particular character or film. This has been the process used by studios and filmmakers for decades - but it's apparently not the method used by the folks over at Marvel Studios.
Chadwick Boseman, who is attached to play T'Challa a.k.a. Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has revealed some interesting details about the Marvel auditioning process in an interview with Entertainment Weekly - and the most notable detail is the fact that Marvel auditions aren't really auditions at all. Rather than performing for the studio brass and filmmakers, the atmosphere is more about discussion and ideas. Said Boseman,
"It wasn’t really an audition process. It was more of a discussion about what they wanted to do and how I saw it and what I wanted to do. It was more of a feeling out process, and they’re really smart. I can’t talk too much about it—the only thing I can say is that they are smarter than you think they are."
This method has turned out to be massively successful, as it presumably is what delivered us the likes of Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, and others. To break it down logically, it seems like the Marvel team can already sense acting talent from previous performances, and are more interested in finding the right personalities during the "audition." Chadwick Boseman's performances in movies like 42 and Get On Up are what got him on the comic book giant's radar, and the meeting was to make sure he was the right guy for the part.
At the same time, part of me has to wonder if this methodology isn't also at least partially related to Marvel Studios' desire for secrecy around their movies. Having simple discussions with actors like this presumably allows them a degree of control over what information is mentioned about particular projects. That way, if things don't work out they don't have to worry about details being leaked. I'm sure there are confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements involved as well, but compartmentalization is still key.
Obviously the conversation that Chadwick Boseman had with Marvel Studios wound up being a very successful one, as he has been locked in with a multi-picture deal with the company. His first Marvel Cinematic Universe appearance as T'Challa will be alongside Chris Evans' Captain America and Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man in Captain America: Civil War - set to go into production next summer - and he will be getting his own solo Black Panther movie in 2017.