It’s hard to imagine T’Challa shouting “bloody hell” mid-battle or sitting down for a cuppa after a long day of fighting evil aliens. But if Marvel’d had their way, the groundbreaking superhero and all of his fellow Wakandans would have spoken with British accents.
According to T’Challa himself, Chadwick Boseman, he fought for the use of the Xhosa accent that ultimately appears in the film.
Xhosa, which originates from South Africa, was originally chosen because of the ancestry of actor John Kani, who played T’Challa’s father, T’Chaka, in Captain America: Civil War.
When it came time for Black Panther, however, Marvel worried that the South African accent would be too difficult for audiences to understand for an entire film. They instead asked Boseman to choose between an American or British accent.
“For [Marvel], I don’t think it was that deep. I think it was an opinion, but I don’t think they were like, ‘We’re gonna fire you,'” he said. “But I was in that place where I was like, ‘No, this is such an important factor that if we lose this right now, what else are we gonna throw away for the sake of making people feel comfortable?’ And so yes, that was a huge thing.”