One of the big questions going into Captain America: Civil War (other than just how badly Cap will kick Iron Man’s ass) is what the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s take on Black Panther will look like. His status as one of the most high-profile black superheroes in all of comics means there’s a lot riding on how he comes across in Civil War, especially since Marvell will get around to giving him a solo film once it’s done making Ant-Man sequels. Recently, Entertainment Weekly sat down with Chadwick Boseman, who’ll be playing Black Panther, and he offered a handful of details on his character’s background, how cool his costume is, and how miserable it is to actually the wear the costume.
For starters, Black Panther’s real name is T’Challa, and he’s the prince of a nation in Africa called Wakanda that happens to possess the world’s largest/only supply of Vibranium—the sci-fi metal that Captain America’s indestructible shield is made of. Boseman says his T’Challa is “not the life of the party,” but that doesn’t mean “there’s not charm and he can’t be a ladies’ man.” Still, he says there’s “always a bit of concealing and mystery” going on with Black Panther, and “you never quite know where he stands.” As for his motivations, the recent Civil War trailer made it look like he’ll be on Iron Man’s side, and Boseman implies—though he thinks the characters would be friends “outside of the suits”—that he will indeed be fighting against Captain America and his band of rogue heroes.
Finally, it sounds like the Black Panther suit will carry on the proud comic-book movie tradition of looking really cool and faithful to the original while being horribly unpleasant to wear. In the movie, the costume has retractable Vibranium claws and is even made of a thin Vibranium weave, but Boseman says wearing the thing was “extremely hot and claustrophobic,” and “the narrow, white-lensed eyes made it particularly hard” to see out of. Still, it’s not all bad, because Boseman at least thought the costume’s shoes were pretty comfortable. He doesn’t go into any details about arch support of Dr. Scholl’s-like padding, but hopefully we’ll find out more about what made the shoes so comfortable as we get closer to Civil War’s release.