Christopher Judge’s Black Panther was always going to be unique
Christopher Judge said, “My” in an interview before he took on the role of King T’Challa (Black Panther) in Marvel’s Avengers’ War for Wakanda expansion.
Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics announced that Judge, best known for his role as Kratos in 2018’s God of War and Teal’c in Stargate SG-1, would portray Black Panther in an Entertainment Weekly interview. This interview was conducted in mid-July. The judge explained that he originally turned down the chance to voice T’Challa because he believed that no one could perform the role well after Chadwick Boseman. His mother and his children convinced him otherwise. The judge said that he felt blessed and fortunate to have been able to play T’Challa as part of Crystal Dynamics’ videogame adaptation.
The judge was cast to play T’Challa. Recording began shortly before Boseman’s passing in August 2020. It became evident that Judge and Evan Narcisse, the narrative consultant for War for Wakanda and Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales and the writer of Rising of the Black Panther comics, were not the same man.
Always respect, never emulate
Judge’s role as T’Challa is his second major appearance in video games. He’s playing a character that was defined by another actor’s voice. Boseman introduced T’Challa to non-comics fans in Ryan Coogler’s 2018 movie Black Panther. T.C. Carson played the role of Kratos. Judge, who plays the role of Kratos, responded in a deep voice to my question about how audience expectations affected his performance.
The judge stated that Judge is a judge because Judge said, “What an actor does with a character is what they do.” “I believe that I was brought in for a purpose, for a particular reason. The judge said that he was aware of Boseman’s “towering, magnificent” performance as T’Challa in Marvel Cinematic Universe’s T’Challa but that he didn’t want to imitate it.
Judge worked closely with Beth McGuire, the Black Panther dialect coach, to perfect the Wakandan accent. Judge also got rid of his lower register. The judge was drawn out of his comfort zone by the accent’s “lyrical tone” and away from Judge’s deep voice, which Judge described as his “moneymaker.” He needed to use a different voice than the one Judge is used to. Judge is driven to be different.
The judge believes in originality, which is more than his portrayal of Wakanda’s king. The judge was asked hypothetically how he would consult for a Hollywood movie adaptation of Stargate SG-1. It is reimagined as J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek films. What would Judge tell Teal’c the actor who played Teal’c?
The judge chuckled, “Don’t watch any 10 seasons that we watched.” Judge chuckled. It won’t change anything I have done. […] This is something that should be repeated for all performers. You have to be your own person.