Black Panther Star Chadwick Boseman Says There's a Place for Denzel Washington in the MCU

Black Panther and Avengers star Chadwick Boseman is "sure there's a place" for acclaimed actor Denzel Washington in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In 2018, Washington revealed he's yet to be approached by Disney-owned Marvel or Warner Bros.-owned DC for a role in a superhero cinematic universe, telling, "I haven't been approached... we'll see what happens." Asked if the comic book genre is a world Washington would step into, he replied, "Never say never." When promoting action crime-drama 21 Bridges, produced by Boseman's Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo, Boseman was asked if he and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler might put in a word for Washington:

"If he wants to do it, I'm sure there's a place for him," Boseman told Should Washington be recruited for the MCU, Boseman isn't telling: the T'Challa actor is more focused on the projects immediately ahead of him, including the soon-released drama Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and the 16th Century-set Yasuke.

"For me, I know that that's there. And so, I'll get excited about it when it comes up," Boseman said of Black Panther II. "As far as story points, there are some things I'm like, 'That's gonna be cool.' But right now, I just live in the moment. I deal with the movies that I'm shooting right now. So I'm excited about everything that's happening before we do Panther."

Not only did Washington pay for Boseman's acting studies at Oxford, the two-time Oscar winner previously told JOE he and Coogler talk "all the time."

"I had forgotten about it, actually. I went to the premiere of Black Panther, a screening of Black Panther, and I didn't want to deal with people in the crowd so I went in the back way. And I ran into Chad and Ryan Coogler," Washington said when promoting The Equalizer 2. "Because I was talking with Ryan — Ryan and I talk all the time — he was the one who invited me. So Chad, you know, thanked me. And I was like, 'For what?' He was like, 'You know, because you [paid for my studies].' I was like, 'Oh, it was you! That's really why I'm here, I want my money [laughs].' Like our story, you never know who you touch and where they might end up. I had no idea that it would work out this way, and look where Chad is now. I'm glad to be — in a very small way — a part of it."

Washington also had an emotional connection to Black Panther, Marvel Studios' first film with a black lead and a predominantly black cast: the star said he cried when watching the blockbuster because "the 40 years I've been in this game came back to me."

"I said, 'Man, look at these young boys, man.' And I actually, I just started [crying]," Washington said. "I was like, whew. You know, Sidney [Poitier], to now? And I'm in the gap — me and many others — are in the gap, but it was like, man. I felt like the third leg of the relay race. Like, 'here, go.' Now, I ran behind them — I'm still running. But I was like, man, they gone. They're gone."


21 Bridges, starring Boseman, Taylor Kitsch, Sienna Miller, and J.K. Simmons, opens Nov. 22. Black Panther II opens May 6, 2022.