Rebecca Vineyard
September 05, 2016 9:00 am
Disney/Marvel

Marvel Studios releases dependably entertaining films: action-packed yet thoughtful superhero films, often with a surprising amount of comedy.

Sure, heroes like Tony Stark’s Iron Man and Scott Lang’s Ant-Man tend to be fast-talking and clever, but the films themselves are often funny throughout: from the satisfying, Joss Whedon-y quips from 2012’s The Avengers to the sly hilarity of 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, they packs as many laughs as literal punches.

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However, it looks like Marvel might be changing it up a bit for one upcoming film: 2018’s Black Panther. Black Panther, played by Chadwick Boseman, was introduced in this year’s Captain America: Civil War and right off the bat, he was a different type of hero: steadier and thoughtful, with the ability to be ferocious. And, according to an interview with CBR, Boseman hints the tone of Black Panther’s upcoming solo film will build on that.

When CBR asked Boseman what it’s like to play a more reserved character next to others that are more “quippy,” he responded:

“It’s funny, because on one hand, the Marvel movies that I’ve liked the most are the ones that are funny. I love “Ant-Man.” But for me, most of the time the darker superhero movies are the ones that I gravitate towards, that I love the most. So I’m glad that I’m not in an “Ant-Man.” I’m glad that the tone of [“Black Panther”] may be a little grittier.

Hmmm, grittier, you say? DO go on.

I just wanted to establish that from the beginning, that that’s what we were doing,” Boseman continued. “That that’s what I intend to do. I feel like we’ll end up in a place that I’ve always wanted to be when I look at superhero movies. Those are the ones I like the most. It’s exciting to do that.”

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Many of the Marvel Studios films haven’t been exclusively lighthearted: Civil War in particular held the serious stakes of friends battling one another to preserve their ideals. However, it’s definitely interesting to know that right off the bat, Black Panther may be tonally different.

It also makes sense that this will be the Marvel film to subvert the norm, and here’s why:

Civil War did a lot to set Black Panther, whose non-superhero identity is T’Challa, royalty from the fictional country of Wakanda, apart. The most striking example of that [spoiler alert] is when he chooses to show mercy to Zemo, even though Zemo is responsible for his father’s death.

Says Boseman, “I feel like you get a chance to see that he’s not going to be a selfish ruler…. You can pull for him, because he’s merciful. And it leaves room also for him to do things that are not necessarily perfect.”

Black Panther may not be perfect, but knowing that his film might be a little darker than the other Marvel offerings makes us even more excited to see it- if only we didn’t have to wait until July of 2018!

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