Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman says the groundbreaking success of the Marvel Studios blockbuster made him “more idealistic” about the potential for other successful POC-led productions in Hollywood.
“I would say that even the way the studio responded, the fact that they put so much into it, I never thought I would see that,” Boseman says in The Hollywood Reporter’s Actors Roundtable.
“I never thought I would see a studio say, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna put the money behind this movie with mostly a black cast.’ Sometimes we have, as African Americans, we have the ‘black version,’ and it’s never as good. They never put as much into it.
“So it made me more idealistic about the world and about how things can go and that that can happen, in other places, other production companies, other studios, other projects. That’s aspirational not just for myself, but for other people, and not just in film, but in other arenas.”
In February, Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige said the resources devoted to Black Panther, including its $200 million dollar budget and $150 million in marketing costs, were “equal to and in fact surpass our last couple of movies.”
“It’s a big story that deserves to be told in a big way, for all of the cultural and political reasons that people talk about, but also because it’s such a key corner of our Marvel universe, and has been for decades and decades,” Feige said of the grand production, mostly set in the African kingdom of Wakanda, the most technologically advanced nation on the planet.
“We wanted to do it justice, and we have a studio with Disney, and leaders with Alan Horn and Bob Iger, who supported us a hundred percent.”
Black Panther won $1.3 billion at the worldwide box office to become the ninth highest-grossing film of all time and was crowned the biggest domestic earner for 2018, becoming just the third film in history to win more than $700 million domestically.
“For me, it was just one of those things where I was like, we want to make a superhero movie, but that’s not the most important thing here,” Boseman told THR of the cultural impact behind Black Panther. “People will love the superhero movie if this other thing, if they get this other thing from it.”
It was that same cultural impact that made the Marvel Studios hit what Feige called “the most important victory we’ve ever had.”
“We have high expectations, we spend a lot of money on these movies, we put a lot of time into these movies, we believe in them and expect them to do well that we can do another one. That it had the cultural impact it had is what is most meaningful,” Feige told MTV News at the 76th Golden Globes.
“This is my first time at the Globes. That Black Panther has the power to bring Marvel to the Golden Globes is pretty exciting.”
Black Panther was the first superhero film to be nominated for the Globes’ coveted Best Picture - Drama award, and could emerge as the first superhero film to receive an Oscar nod for Best Picture.
Coogler will return to write and direct the sequel. Marvel Studios is expected to date the picture sometime after Avengers: Endgame opens April 26.