Black Panther's Chadwick Boseman: 'Everybody’s minds are opening up' squib

Marvel’s new superstar knows that Hollywood’s first true black blockbuster will open doors. But the man who has played Jackie Robinson and Thurgood Marshall also knows the film’s debts to the pioneers who came before

Black Panther was always going to represent a watershed moment in popular culture. With a young African-American director, Ryan Coogler, a predominantly black cast and a whopping $200m budget, the new Marvel movie is cinema’s first true blackbuster. That it is also an excellent superhero film as well – witty, thrilling and provocative – almost feels like a bonus. No wonder its 41-year-old star, Chadwick Boseman, is sitting pretty when I meet him. He has the laid-back demeanour of a man justifiably confident that the work will speak for itself. You might even say there is something regal about him, unless that’s just the role spilling over into the room. For when Black Panther is not leaping off buildings and on to speeding cars, intercepting arms deals that could unleash anarchy on the world, he is king of the (fictional) African country Wakanda. He may be known as Panther to his fellow Marvel Avengers but T’Challa is the name on his library card.

Related: Black Panther – the most radical superhero film yet? Discuss with spoilers

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