King T'Challa himself talks to ET about how he'll know 'Black Panther' is a success and delivering on Marvel hype.
All hail the king. The reviews of Marvel's latest offering are in and Black Panther is, as of now, the best-reviewed superhero movie yet. Critics praised the film as a "nuanced celebration of pride and identity" and "the best sojourn of my life," while ET's Angelique Jackson predicted that Black Panther could be the first superhero flick to earn a Best Picture Oscar nomination, writing, "For now, just be satisfied with the best the MCU has to offer. Wakanda forever!"
"I haven't seen them," Chadwick Boseman, who stars as the newly anointed King T'Challa and moonlighting superhero, Black Panther, told ET's Nischelle Turner. "I don't ever look at them! No reviews ever."
Instead, Boseman says that the revelry surrounding Black Panther will let him know how big of a success the film is. "People are talking about dressing up in African garb to go to the theater," he said. "I've seen people dress up as Spider-Man, I've seen them dress up as Iron Man...It was a celebrity -- I'm not going to name his name – that sent a message to me and said, 'Hey, is it OK if I come [to the premiere] in a Black Panther outfit?"
(When asked to spill the tea, Boseman coyly demurred, "If I told you, it would be even more funny.")
"I was like, 'You better not do that,'" the actor said with a laugh. "But we've seen that before. We haven't seen the cultural experience of, like, a carnival. People being like, I'm wearing this. This is what we're eating. I'm bringing all my family. We bought out the whole theater...When people see [the movie] and see the meaning of what's going to happen with all of those people coming, the impact is something that nobody can actually write about yet."
It will become harder and harder for Boseman to remain ignorant to the reviews, though, as the Black Panther hype is only beginning. The movie is historic, after all: The first modern superhero movie centered on a black hero. (The second, if you count 1998's Blade. "You cannot disrespect Wesley Snipes," Boseman chided.) It has already made history, too: Beating out Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War to become the top-selling superhero movie in advanced ticket sales, and, after debuting at 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and being Certified Fresh at 99 percent, it is the most well-reviewed superhero flick not only in the MCU, but ever. (The Dark Knight and Iron Man are tied at 94 percent fresh. Whether Black Panther retains its rating as more reviews pour in remains to be seen.)
Should Black Panther outperform the expected box office haul of $120-150 million opening weekend, it will also set a new record for that weekend, snatching the title from Deadpool. The aforementioned ticket sales certainly seem promising, as Lupita Nyong'o, who is in the movie, wasn't able to purchase a ticket for opening night. ("They were sold out for real!" she exclaimed at the movie's premiere. "So, I'll see it tonight.")
All that said -- and considering all that's still to be said before Black Panther opens on Feb. 16 -- Boseman wants to assure fans this movie cannot be overhyped. "Honestly, I'm just excited that so many people have bought into the film without even seeing it," he told ET. "I feel like it will exceed the expectations that people have. They're actually not ready for what they're about to see."
"I'm not even worried about the numbers," Boseman shrugged. "I'm mostly thinking about what's going to happen when they actually see what is on the screen."