Though Get On Up star Chadwick Boseman is the name that has been bandied around the most with respect to Marvel’s planned Black Panther film, the project is in such early stages of development that many other actors are understandably also throwing their names into the mix. One such hopeful is The Purge: Anarchy actor Michael K. Williams, who recently expressed his enthusiasm at the prospect of playing such a key character for Marvel.
Speaking with Cinema Blend, Williams was asked whether playing a comic-book hero interested him. The actor’s reply was swift:
“Black Panther. Yeah, definitely.”
Marvel has not officially approached Williams, he said, but that isn’t deterring the actor:
“No not yet. And I’m saying ‘yet’ with a lot of emphasis. But hopefully I’m looking forward to being a part of the franchise.”
Why Black Panther? Williams was honest about having preferred other Marvel characters while growing up, but still finds the idea of playing the iconic hero quite tantalizing:
“I grew up with it, but I’m more excited about the opportunity. I’m a little more old school. I was into Superman, Batman, Spider-Man. My three top favorites by far. And then you know Wonder Woman, Aquaman–you know that’s my world. That’s my childhood.”
Williams is just one of many actors lobbying to play Black Panther, but he could bring something to the part that few, if any, of his competitors could:
“It would depend on the script. I would definitely bring that quintessential New York City edge. You know, just a little bit of that grit.”
Over the years, we’ve heard names like Anthony Mackie (who’d go on to play Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Djimon Hounsou (who became baddie Korath the Pursuer in Guardians of the Galaxy), John Boyega and Chadwick Boseman in association with Black Panther, but something about Williams’ bid to play the character is even more exciting than any of those. The Wire alum is one of the most talented actors working today, and his undoubtedly gritty take on the character might be exactly what Marvel needs to bring Black Panther to life.