Chadwick Boseman’s fought against the Marvel Studios for giving an American/British accent to the people of Wakanda in Africa. Here’s Boseman said on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast:
“They felt that [an African accent] was maybe too much for an audience to take. I felt the exact opposite. Like if I speak with a British accent, what’s gonna happen when I go home? It felt to me like a dealbreaker. Having gone through similar situations before where I was willing to, like, stand up for it I was like, well, here we go again. So for them I don’t think it was that deep, I think it was an opinion.”
Even film’s directed Ryan Coogler strived for more authenticity, arguing that the natives of Wakanda should speak in African dialects- something that Black Panther wholly embraced.
“No, this is such an important factor that if we lose this right now what else are we going to throw away for the sake of making people feel comfortable?” Boseman said of lobbying for the accents. “So yes that was a huge thing — once we decided to do it, we went for it.”
In the film, Bozeman along with all his fellow Wakandians speak Xhosa, that is a real Buntu language which is one of the official languages of South Africa. It’s also the language of Nelson Mandela; the one that T’Challa’s father T’Chaka spoke in the Civil War.
“I wanted that sound in there. There’s different groups but the South African one brought with it this feeling of things that we knew,” Boseman said of the loving exchange in Xhosa seen in Civil War, shortly before T’Chaka is killed by an assassin’s bomb.
“It makes you think of Mandela, you know, it makes you think of that sort of esteem, so there a dynamic there so you can be a symbol of peace. He wasn’t always a symbol of peace, but there’s this symbol of peace along with this warrior. So I was sure about this that it was Xhosa, Xhosa, Xhosa.”
“Ryan and I went back and forth and talked about it, and I said it just makes sense,” Black Panther dialect coach Beth McGuire previously told Slate. “If that’s who you started with, that’s your king of Wakanda, that’s who it is, that’s the language.”
Director Coogler even revealed that the heartfelt moment between T’Challa and his late father was among his favourite moments from the film.
“Realizing that we were going to have this film where a father and son talk to each other in this native African language in a superhero movie — it hit me for a moment,” he said. “It was emotionally moving. That was a big one.”
Black Panther has already become the third biggest hit domestically after James Cameron’s Avatar and Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Disney. The film has become the ninth highest grossing film of all times and the film is currently even ahead of Avengers: Infinity War in terms of its box office earnings.