God of War actor Christopher Judge who voices Kratos in the acclaimed PlayStation series will take on the role of Black Panther in Marvel’s Avengers. The casting decision was confirmed on Thursday with the news putting to rest rumors about Judge voicing Black Panther that have been circulating for months now. Marvel’s Avengers’ new Black Panther - War for Wakanda is scheduled to release in August, so it won’t be long now until players are able to hear Judge voice the character and play as Black Panther himself.
EW confirmed the Black Panther news this week alongside an interview with Judge and others who worked on the next Marvel’s Avengers expansion. Judge said in the interview that he actually turned down the role “straight away” after it was offered while saying that he didn’t think anyone should take on the character again after the death of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman. After some convincing from his family and a decision to do his own version of the character without attempting to recreate Boseman’s performance, Judge accepted the role.
“To be quite honest, I was fearful of being compared to what Chadwick had so wonderfully done," Judge said. "The only way I could really wrap my head around it was to not even attempt a voice match, to let my performance stand on its own. I put all that into it and hopefully people like it.”
Evan Narcisse, the Rise of the Black Panther comics writer, and Hannah McLeod, the narrative lead working on the expansion, reinforced Judge’s sentiments about this version of Black Panther being a unique one in the context of the game. This Black Panther is shaped by the events of A-Day which kicked off the story of Marvel’s Avengers with the game featuring “its own iteration of the Black Panther mythos,” according to Narcisse.
“Chadwick's performance was somebody who had more questions about how to perform the role of Black Panther and king,” Narcisse said. “This version doesn't have those questions. He already thinks he has all the answers. I think one of the cool things in this expansion is there's tension between him and Shuri like we haven't seen before about how best to move Wakanda forward.”
The Marvel’s Avengers expansion featuring Black Panther has been shown off more than once but was featured just recently with new concept art and detail shared. The DLC itself is scheduled to be released in August with no specific release date announced just yet.