Captain America and Iron Man might be the featured combatants in May 6's Captain America: Civil War, but the debuting Black Panther (played by Chadwick Boseman) might just what changes the balance of power. With battle lines drawn between Chris Evan's Cap and Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man, Boseman's Wakandan king is being framed as the neutral party both factions want to recruit to their side.
“You never quite know where he stands. There’s always a bit of concealing and mystery," Boseman told Entertainment Weekly. "So I think mysterious is more his boat. Not to say there’s not charm and he can’t be a ladies’ man and all that. It’s more like if there is humor, it’s more like James Bond.”
In the course of the EW article, it was also confirmed that Black Panther's suit is made of a vibranium mesh. Not only that, but T'Challa's father T'Chaka will indeed be alive and a major part of Captain America: Civil War.
Nate Moore, one of the film's executive producers, said the cinematic Black Panther will be a little more "fiery" and "fallable" than his comic book counterpart due to the age differences.
"In publishing, he is sort of this very wise and a sanguine figure who seems to know more than he lets on,” said Moore. “I think this is Black Panther in his younger years, where he maybe is a little bit more fiery than I think how they write him in the comics because he’s very much in the nascent stages of being a hero. So that means he is probably more fallible than the Black Panther that you read in comics, but for reasons that are completely logical.”
The burdgeoning cadre of superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are split in two thanks to the Sokovia Accords -- a international law akin to the Superhuman Registration Act from the Civil War comic book series. With T'Challa serving in a heriditary role as both Wakanda's King and the Black Panther, the African hero is torn between the past and the future as well as the two sides in Civil War.
“There definitely is a sort of tradition that he’s torn between, in terms of how things were done in the past and how things need to happen now in this new world,” said Boseman “I think there’s perhaps a bit of a maverick there, and then there’s also a need to live up to traditions and his father’s legacy. And not even his father’s legacy, but the entire nation of Wakanda. I think those are the things you will see.”
Although in an apparent spoiler, EW reveals that the Black Panther eventually does choose a side: Iron Man's, due to grievances T'Challa has with Bucky Barnes.
And although he'll end up against him at some point in Civil War, Chris Evans (a.k.a. Captain America) said T'Challa and Rogers have much in common and would get along off the battlefield.
“I love our scenes together because I do think they feel a sense of responsibility. I think they’re both very selfless people,” Evans says. “They want the right thing, no one’s irrational, no one has an inflated ego. They’re family-first people. I think outside of the suits we’d be friends, Steve and T’Challa.”
Although Panther might join Iron Man's side, Boseman said that it's more nuanced that that.
“Ultimately some sides are taken, but I think the trick of the movie is for no one to be blindly following,” said Boseman. “Everybody is actually on their own side, in truth.”