After two years of hype, Marvel’s much-anticipated Black Panther film is finally almost here. As the Ryan Coogler-directed movie sets records for advance ticket sales and brings glowing reviews, stars like Chadwick Boseman are becoming acutely aware of Black Panther‘s revolutionary potential. Black Panther isn’t the first black superhero movie, but as the first Marvel Studios superhero film with a majority black cast, it could have special resonance with fans — especially the young ones.
Boseman discussed the potential influence of Black Panther in a new EW SiriusXM Town Hall. He got particularly emotional talking about his relationship with two young cancer patients, who died before the film’s release.
“Throughout our filming, I was communicating with them, knowing they were both terminal. What they and their parents said to me was, they were trying to hold on till this movie comes,” Boseman said. “To a certain degree it’s a humbling experience because you’re like, this can’t mean that much to them. But seeing how the world has taken this on, I realize they anticipated something great. Thinking back now to when I was a kid, waiting for Christmas to come, waiting for my birthday to come, waiting for a toy I was gonna get a chance to experience, or a video game, I did live life waiting for those moments. It put me back in the mind of being a kid and feeling those two boys’ anticipation of this movie. When I found out that they…”
At that point, Boseman got so emotional he had to stop speaking for several seconds to collect himself. Eventually, he concluded, “yeah it means a lot.”
Watch the clip above. The full Town Hall will air on SiriusXM’s EW Radio on Thursday, Feb. 15 at noon ET.