'Black Panther' star Chadwick Boseman almost played a totally different Marvel hero

Tom BeasleyContributor
Chadwick Boseman attends the Global Charity Initiative Benefit at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 27, 2019. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)
Chadwick Boseman attends the Global Charity Initiative Benefit at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 27, 2019. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

Chadwick Boseman is one of the key figures of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as T’Challa, aka Black Panther, but he could have ended up as an entirely different MCU hero.

The 41-year-old actor originally auditioned for the role of Drax the Destroyer in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy before Marvel bosses considered him to play T’Challa in Captain America: Civil War.

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Former professional wrestler Dave Bautista has since portrayed Drax in a number of MCU films.

Read more: Boseman reacts to Martin Scorsese’s Marvel comments

Boseman was asked about the potential casting on The Tonight Show by host Jimmy Fallon, in an interview to promote his new crime thriller 21 Bridges.

The star admitted that “weirdly enough”, he did audition for Marvel to play Drax, but said he never really thought he was going to get the role.

Chadwick Boseman almost played Drax instead of Black Panther in the MCU. (Credit: Marvel)
Chadwick Boseman almost played Drax instead of Black Panther in the MCU. (Credit: Marvel)

“We didn’t know what Guardians was going to be. I didn’t know what it was.

“I only had a few pages at that time so it was good to come in and play to see what they did with it.”

Read more: Inside Black Panther’s Endgame return

Boseman went on to say that he believed the audition allowed him to get in front of the key people at Marvel, helping him to get in the frame for the role that he ultimately won.

He said: “You know you’re not going to get it but you’re meeting the people – they might be like: ‘It’s not this, but we’ll put him in this other thing.’”

Chadwick Boseman attends "21 Bridges" New York Screening on November 19, 2019. (Photo by Steven Ferdman/WireImage)
Chadwick Boseman attends "21 Bridges" New York Screening on November 19, 2019. (Photo by Steven Ferdman/WireImage)

The actor has now played T’Challa in four MCU films, all of which have crossed the billion-dollar milestone at the worldwide box office.

Boseman will be seen this week on cinema screens in 21 Bridges, in which he plays a New York City detective who locks down Manhattan in order to track down a pair of thieves responsible for the deaths of several cops.

Black Panther
Black Panther

The film is produced by the Russo Brothers, who directed three of the actor’s outings as Black Panther.

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He is due to reprise his superhero role in a sequel to Black Panther, which is currently scheduled to arrive in May 2022, again directed by Ryan Coogler.

Boseman also has Spike Lee’s war drama Da 5 Bloods and Netflix movie Ma Rainey's Black Bottom on his slate.

21 Bridges is out in UK cinemas from 22 November.

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