The 2016 film, Captain America: Civil War introduced two new characters to the Avengers narrative, Spider-Man and Black Panther. The casting of these characters was the gig of a lifetime for the actors, spawning standalone films, and a spot in the biggest MCU film to date, Avengers: Infinity War.
After Spider-Man: Homecoming released in Summer 2017 to great reviews, Marvel Studios is investing in the origin tale of another new Avenger, Black Panther.
Chadwick Boseman, who until Civil War, was relatively unknown as an actor, will be starring in the Black Panther standalone film, releasing next week. The film is breaking box office records (before it’s even released) and is receiving universal praise from both critics and audiences.
During the press conference for Black Panther, Boseman revealed exactly how his casting of the Wakandan King came to be.
“We were in Zurich, [Switzerland.] I was coming off the red carpet for [the film] Get On Up and my agent was like, ‘You’ve gotta get on the phone,'” Boseman recalled. “And the crazy thing is I didn’t even have international calling on my phone until that morning. In an interview I heard someone say ‘Get international on your phone and call your mom,’ [then] important stuff, literally, happened that night.”
This was back in fall of 2014, when Civil War was still in its early stages. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, Marvel producers Louis D’Esposito, Nate Moore, and the Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo came together, before anything was set in stone, and called Boseman with the conversation of a lifetime.
“We were sitting around a table,” Feige explained. “We were coming up with the story for Civil War [when] Nate Moore, our executive producer, suggested bringing in Black Panther because we were looking for a third party that wouldn’t necessarily side with Cap or Iron Man. And almost instantly we all said ‘Chadwick.’ And in my memory, though maybe it was the next day, we got him on speaker phone right then.”
Luckily, Boseman took the call. He began the journey to becoming Black Panther for Civil War. This was not the generic audition process that most actors have to go through, however.