Chadwick Boseman: Destined For Greatness

(Photo credit: Chadwick Boseman Instagram)

The whole world is ready for the movie, Black Panther. On January 29th, the movie was previewed at the L.A. premiere and it was the talk of social media. Not only was it star studded, it was also a preview of Black excellence.

Pre-ticket sales for the film have even far exceeded predictions. Movie ticket retailer Fandango is reporting that Black Panther holds the record for most pre-sale tickets sold for a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. The previous record was held by Captain America: Civil War, which was released in May 2016.

Last year, social media was again lit on fire during the 2017 NBA Finals Game 4, and it wasn’t because of the game. That’s when the official trailer dropped on the highly-anticipated film. It amassed 89 million views in just it’s first 24 hours making it the third most viewed trailer of all time! People on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook all shared their joy to see a full-length film about a Black superhero from Africa.

Fans were again stunned when Marvel released another full trailer without warning online. Now people get to see a little bit more of the movie and it looks just as stunning as we think it is. See below:

The title character is played by Chadwick Boseman, who starred in other iconic roles such as Jackie Robinson in 42, James Brown in Get On Up and most recently played Supreme Court Judge, Thurgood Marshall in Marshall.

According to those who grew up with Boseman, he was always destined to be a success. “We knew when he was a student here, you could just tell the talent he had,” said Sheila Hilton, Boseman’s old principal at T.L. Hanna High School in South Carolina. “He was winning at everything he competed in.”

Boseman graduated from Hanna in 1995.

“Chad was just a joy to have here,” Hilton said.

He made himself known at his alma mater during plays, also as an athlete and as Mr. T.L. Hanna.

“He also, here at Hanna was in the Speech and Debate program. He also was very talented at that,” Hilton said. “We were just sort of waiting for him to get his big break,” Hilton said.

(Photo credit: Chadwick Boseman Instagram)

He later graduated from Howard University in Washington, DC, in 2000 with a bachelor of fine arts in directing. He also graduated from the British American Drama Academy in Oxford. Boseman had wanted to write and direct, and initially began studying acting to learn how to relate to actors. While in New York he studied Digital Filmmaking at the Digital Film Academy.

Boseman was the drama instructor in the Schomburg Junior Scholars Program, housed at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York. He moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career in 2008.

Black Panther follows T’Challa who, after the events of Captain America: Civil War, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to take his place as king. However, when an old enemy reappears on the radar, T’Challa’s is tested both as king and Black Panther when he is drawn into a conflict that puts the entire fate of Wakanda and the world at risk.

T’Challa’s appearance was one of the best parts of Civil War, and that has made Black Panther a must-see for Marvel fans. Boseman leads a stacked cast that includes Jordan as Erik Killmonger, a Wakandan exile who wants to overthrow the new king, and Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, a member of the the Dora Milaje, an elite force of all-female bodyguards.

Black Panther’s abilities include expert fighting skills and enhanced strength, speed, agility, stamina, and durability, so Boseman wants to be prepared both physically and mentally.

Boseman began working out to portray Black Panther as far back as November of 2014, even though the character wouldn’t appear on film until the 2016 film and his own film doesn’t debut until 2018.

It takes many actors, even some of the fittest ones, months if not years to be able to transform their bodies into comic book characters, and that was a challenge Boseman didn’t take lightly. He kept quiet into the type of workouts he was doing, other than to say he focused on strength and flexibility.

(photo credit: pinterest)

But according to his social media and the action movie legends he trains with, Boseman may be training with some form of Muay Thai. Muay Thai is referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs” or the “Science of Eight Limbs”, because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus using eight “points of contact”, as opposed to “two points” (fists) in boxing and “four points” (hands and feet) used in other more regulated combat sports, such as kickboxing and savate. A practitioner of muay Thai is known as a nak muay.

On Chadwick’s instagram he states that, “The purpose of training is to…

…toughen the body, and polish the spirit.” And with every scene he’s in, it’s evident Chadwick is doing just that.

The history of Muay Thai can also be traced to the middle of the 16th century. During the battles between the Burmese of the Konbaung Dynasty and Siam, the famous fighter Nai Khanomtom was captured in the year 1767. The Burmese knew of his expertise in hand-to-hand combat and gave him an opportunity to fight for his freedom. Soon after winning the match, he was freed by his captors and allowed to return to Siam. He was acknowledged as a hero, and his fighting style became known as Siamese-Style boxing, later to be known as Muay Thai. This fighting style was soon to be recognized as a national sport.

Here’s a little fun fact: If you think Boseman was starting early, you’d be surprised to know that Black Panther Has Been in Development Since 1992.

Wesley Snipes announced his intention to develop and star in a movie based on the comic book character 25 years ago. Various delays, ranging from script issues to Snipes’ involvement in the Blade series, plagued the project until it was shelved indefinitely. At long last, in October 2014, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced Black Panther would be released with Boseman in the leading role.

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