'Black Panther' Stars on Carving Out Their Own Path in Marvel Universe

Chadwick Boseman - Black Panther Screening The Cinema Society - Getty - H 2018
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Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright talked about the future of their characters at a New York screening of the film.

Fans are eagerly awaiting Marvel's Black Panther, which doesn't hit theaters until Friday, but has a 98 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is tracking for a blockbuster box-office debut.

And even at Tuesday night's star-studded New York screening of the film, hosted by The Cinema Society with Ravage Wines & Synchrony, the crowd was buzzing with anticipation. During the film, the well-heeled audience at the Museum of Modern Art clapped at every character’s entrance, yelled at the villain (played by Michael B. Jordan) and cheered each time the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) put on his high-tech suit. 

While some critics are worried that the heart of Black Panther will get lost among the other storylines in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the cast isn't concerned.

Should her character, Shuri, return to any upcoming films, Letitia Wright is confident she’ll stand out, saying, “Wherever she's meant to go, she'll go, but I feel like she has a strong presence.”

Boseman, who first played T’Challa/Black Panther in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, feels the same way about his character.

“[T’Challa] carves out his own space,” Boseman explained. “So, it’s not that it fits inside MCU. It gives MCU another place to go actually.”

Following Black Panther’s footsteps might not be a bad idea for future installments. "The world is showing it's really been yearning for that alternative perspective," Danai Gurira, who plays Okoye, told The Hollywood Reporter.

“What I love about this movie is that it really delves into something deep and resonant and a perspective that is rarely seen,” raved Gurira, who will be returning in May's Avengers: Infinity War. “Anytime you do that, you’re gonna draw people in in a way that they might not expect.”

Stars in attendance at the screening or afterparty at The Skylark included Denzel Washington, Chris Rock, Gayle King, Michael Strahan, Whoopi Goldberg, Iman, Trevor Noah, Robin Roberts, Clive Davis, Al Sharpton, Leslie Jones, Kenan Thompson, Michael Che, Tyra Banks, Corey Stoll, David Muir, Don Lemon, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Renee Elise Goldsberry, La La Anthony, Sherri Shepherd, Van Jones, David Cross, Mischa Barton, Robin Thede, Jessica Williams, Phoebe Robinson, Brandon Victor Dixon, Brian Tyree Henry, Dan Abrams, Bebe Neuwirth, Geoffrey Fletcher, Kevin Liles and Toure.