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Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther

VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images/Marvel

Chadwick Boseman may be playing Black Panther in his own movie, but he wasn't always that familiar with the superhero.

"When I was a kid, no," the actor, 37, told me at the Hollywood Film Awards. "I had heard of it, but I hadn't read all the comics. But of course I have now."

No surprise, but Boseman isn't allowed to say much about the flick, which isn't set for release until November 2017. In fact, he won't even describe what kind of physical training he'll have to go through. "A lot of strength and flexibility, but I'm not going to say anymore," he said with a big smile. "I can't say or reveal their training secrets."

chadwick boseman


Besides, his body may already be in superhero shape. "How do you know it's not kickin' right now?" Boseman said. "I might be covering something up."

We can't wait to see.

Boseman found out that Marvel was interested in him playing the character while promoting Get On Up in Zurich. "I was going into a screening of the movie and my agent called me and said, 'Marvel wants to get on the phone with you,'" he recalled. "I was like, "What does Marvel want from me?' But from there it happened pretty quickly."

Although Black Panther is being hyped as Marvel's first black superhero to have his own movie, Boseman said, "Don't forget about Wesley Snipes," in reference to Snipes' Blade flicks.

Get on Up

Universal Pictures

Marvel and Disney announced Boseman won the coveted Black Panther gig during an event about three weeks ago at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. Boseman joined Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) and Chris Evans (Captain America) on stage.

When RDJ asked him if he was Team Iron Man or Team Captain America, Boseman said, "As much as I respect you both, Black Panther is kind of his own guy."

Downey and Evans stepped in front of the newcomer for a quick game of "Rock, Paper, Scissors." "In all seriousness, I'm blessed to be a part of this Marvel Universe and working with you both," Boseman said. "I'm looking forward to making magic together."