How Chadwick Boseman Compares Playing Black Panther For Ryan Coogler And The Russos

Captain America Civil War Black Panther

Because of his introduction in Captain America: Civil War, Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther has been sculpted by some very different filmmakers during his tenure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was directors Joe and Anthony Russo who were tasked with bringing the character into the franchise back in 2016, but Ryan Coogler has expanded his world with the upcoming solo film. You'd think that there would be some gaps in Boseman's experience working with the directors, each having their own vision of the hero, but even he was surprised not to find a great deal of difference in the experiences. The actor recently told me,

There's no contrast. I think what the Russo brothers were mindful of, was... first of all, they work as one mind, meaning Joe and Anthony. They're very different in terms of how they express themselves, but their arguments allow them to be very succinct and impactful when they deal with the cast. And they shot these movies, they've shot several of these, so they know exactly what they want, and they were very mindful of not taking away from what Ryan [Coogler did].

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Chadwick Boseman during the Los Angeles press day for Black Panther last week -- and in addition to discussing his views on the Wakandan border debate, I also asked about the scope of his work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date. Specifically, I asked about the contrasts that he found working with the Russo brothers and Ryan Coogler, but apparently it was really a seamless transition.

Continuing, Chadwick Boseman pointed out that Ryan Coogler inherited Black Panther as a character for the solo film, with Joe and Anthony Russo not knowing who was going to take the project's helm. Fortunately, however, the filmmakers (along with writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely) were mindful to keep some important doors open that Coogler could then explore in his own film. Said Boseman,

[When the Russos were making Captain America: Civil War] they didn't even know who was going to direct the movie, but they didn't want to take away from what anybody was going to do. I was probably more worried about it than I needed to be, but they never really had a perspective about a different thing. They let Ryan establish what Wakanda was, and then they bought into that as we continued working together - because I've worked with them again on Infinity War.

You can watch Chadwick Boseman discuss his work with Ryan Coogler, and Joe and Anthony Russo on Black Panther, Captain America: Civil War, and The Avengers: Infinity War by clicking play on the video below!

Based on what we saw in the first trailer for The Avengers: Infinity War, the nation of Wakanda will be an extremely important location, which makes one wonder about its portrayal in comparison to what Coogler has created. Of course, it certainly must have been helpful that Black Panther and the massive crossover blockbuster were in production at the same time down in Atlanta, Georgia -- which is also why we only have less than three more to wait before Infinity War's release.

Black Panther will be in theaters on February 16th, and stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more from my interviews with the film's cast, Ryan Coogler, and screenwriter Joe Robert Cole.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.