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Marvel's 'What If' director says Chadwick Boseman was 'excited' to play another version of T'Challa in upcoming animated Disney+ show

·4-min read
Marvel's 'What If' director says Chadwick Boseman was 'excited' to play another version of T'Challa in upcoming animated Disney+ show
Chadwick Boseman reprises his role as T'Challa in Marvel's "What If...?"
Chadwick Boseman reprises his role as T'Challa in Marvel's "What If...?" Marvel Studios
  • Marvel's animated series, "What If...?", premieres on Disney+ on August 11.

  • Ahead of its debut, the show's director, Bryan Andrews, and its star, Jeffrey Wright, were among those to discuss the making of the series during a press conference.

  • Chadwick Boseman gives his final performance on the show's second episode, a project Andrews says he was "excited" about.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Chadwick Boseman's final performance will air this month on Disney+'s upcoming animated Marvel series, "What If...?", and it's an episode fans of Boseman and of his Marvel character, Black Panther, will want to seek out.

"He was excited to play this version of T'Challa because it was different, because it was a version of him being able to play the king, but the king without the mantle," series director Bryan Andrews said of the actor during a virtual press conference for the series Sunday morning, which Insider attended.

"He could lighten it up, get a little more joke-y with it. He was excited to bring that flavor to T'Challa and give it to the audience so we could see a slightly different version of T'Challa," Andrews added.

Boseman died last August while fighting a private battle with cancer. He was 43.

The anthology series reimagines famous events from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) if they played out in alternate "what if" scenarios. For instance, the premiere follows Peggy Carter if she received the super soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers.

Boseman's episode, the second of 10 released weekly, looks at what would have happened if Yondu, of "Guardians of the Galaxy" fame, kidnapped T'Challa instead of Peter Quill by accident. T'Challa then goes on to become a version of Star-Lord instead of the Black Panther in this universe.

Chadwick Boseman reprises his role as T'Challa in Marvel's "What If...?"
Boseman becomes Star-Lord in Marvel's "What If...?" Marvel Studios

While Boseman reprised his role of T'Challa for "What If...?", one of more than 50 mcu cast members who returned for the animated series, a few of the main Marvel stars, including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, and Brie Larson, did not reprise their iconic roles.

During the conference, Andrews said Boseman was among the first talent to sign on to reprise his role on the series.

Typically, for voice-over work, actors will work in a booth to record their parts.

Andrews said for "What If...?" Boseman, who has a background in theater, wanted to perform the episode like a play, complete with them reading the scene descriptions as he acted.

"It was so much fun being able to do that," said Andrews. "We got to basically read lines with Chadwick Boseman."

Chadwick Boseman plays T'Challa, a leader of the Ravagers, on Disney+'s "What If...?"
Chadwick Boseman plays T'Challa, a leader of the Ravagers, on Disney+'s "What If...?" Marvel Studios

"None of us knew what he was going through at the time," he added. "He came and he brought it. We had a lot of fun."

"What we all discovered was that the kind of mythic quality that [Boseman] brought to these performances kind of paled in some way to the mythic quality that this was his life in terms of the way that he was going about doing this work - the grace, the dignity, the power," Jeffrey Wright said during the conference.

Wright stars as the series' narrator, The Watcher, a celestial being who oversees the vast multiverse, giving the show a bit of a "Twilight Zone" feel.

Jeffrey Wright voices The Watcher in What If
Jeffrey Wright voices The Watcher in "What If...?" Marvel Studios

"I'm really pleased to share a little bit of time with him on this," Wright said of Boseman, adding that the two almost shared the screen on Netflix's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." Wright had a schedule conflict.

Andrews said work on Boseman's episode was completed after the actor's death.

"We got to make sure nothing goes wrong with these episodes," Andrews said of the pressure felt in finishing the first season. "It got down to the music... making sure that everything in it can honor what he brought to the table, honor the character, but also honor Chadwick as well."

"It would get emotional at times," Andrews said, adding that getting work notes during meetings would sometimes "become emotional" because of how much it mattered to get the episode right. "It's still rough."

The first two episodes of "What If...?", including Boseman's episode, will debut on Disney+ on August 11.

Read the original article on Insider

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