Boseman says he wasn't overly familiar with the character in his youth, but became more familiar with the character over the past decade. He thinks now is the right time to explore the character on film.
I wasn't, like, a fanatic. I definitely read comic books, but this particular character was not someone that I knew very well until the last 10 years or so. I'd heard of him, but I hadn't really been like I'm a huge Black Panther fan. I think once you get into the film business, though, you start thinking about things that would be really cool to do, and then I fell in love with [the character]. For me, that's going to be the case for most people who watch it, for most people who see this character emerge inside the Marvel world. And it's the right time for it, at the end of the day. It's the right time for the character to emerge and to have his own life, so I'm really, really excited for it. And I just feel it can be done the right way right now.