Martin Freeman credits ’Black Panther’s’ ‘aspirational Africa’ for its huge success - Metro US

Martin Freeman credits ’Black Panther’s’ ‘aspirational Africa’ for its huge success

Martin Freeman in Black Panther

Even though we are only in May it has already been a hugely successful year for Marvel. 

That’s hardly a surprise, as the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been dominating the cinematic landscape ever since “Iron Man” was released back in 2008. But even by Marvel’s standards the success of “Black Panther” and the seemingly unstoppable juggernaut that is “Avengers: Infinity War” have both been remarkable. 

“Avengers: Infinity War” has already banked $1.817 billion at the box office in just over three weeks, is currently the 4th highest grossing film in history, and should rival “Titanic’s” sum of $2.187 billion to at least become the second most successful film ever. 

But in many ways “Black Panther’s” $1.343 billion gross was just as impressive. It easily became Marvel’s most successful ever origin film, as well as recording their highest ever domestic gross, too, while also proving just how eager movie fans are for more representation on screen. 

I recently had the chance to speak to Martin Freeman, who plays Everett K. Ross in the MCU and had his biggest part yet in “Black Panther,” and the British actor broke down the various reasons why the film was so triumphant.

“Several reasons. It is a good film. People like Marvel. Marvel do things really well, and people like superheroes. It was a black led, majority black superhero cast on that scale. Yes, there have been black superheroes before, but not in the Marvel universe.”

“And it wasn’t only that. It wasn’t just the black thing, it was the African thing as well. So it wasn’t just African American it was African. A fictional Africa, but an aspirational Africa that people don’t see. Because most of the news about Africa is of a certain nature. And you have this other thing that is very celebratory.”

But, for Freeman, the most important element behind “Black Panther’s” success was its co-writer and director Ryan Coogler. 

“None of that would have made any difference if Ryan Coogler wasn’t a good filmmaker. He knows how to make a good film. The subject matter, the faces on the poster are massively important. But he made it a great adventure.”

“Black Panther’s” huge success means a follow-up is inevitable, while Marvel’s head-honcho Kevin Feige previously confirmed that they already have a “pretty solid direction on where [they] want to head with the second one.”

There’s just the small matter of “Avengers 4” to sort out first, though. 

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