Christopher Judge – who gamers will recognize as the voice and motion actor of Kratos from PlayStation’s critically acclaimed God of War franchise will also voice King T’Challa, also known as the Black Panther, in the upcoming Marvel’s Avengers’ War for Wakanda expansion. However, Judge’s version will be noticeably different than Chadwick Boseman’s iconic performance of the said character.
For many fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the late Chadwick Boseman’s performance was defining to the mainstream culture’s understanding of Black Panther. However, due to the late actor’s untimely passing, people at Square Enix had to find a different voice actor for the role of King T’Challa, and their choice fell on Christopher Judge, the man behind the voice and motion of Kratos from the God of War gaming franchise. According to Entertainment Weekly, the casting was confirmed on Tuesday, announcing Judge’s debut in the upcoming Marvel’s Avengers major update.
Christopher Judge initially didn’t want to follow in late Chadwick Boseman‘s footsteps, stating his belief that no one could even come close to Boseman’s portrayal of T’Challa. The actor remained adamant in his decision about not accepting the role, being fearful of potential comparisons between his and Chadwick’s outstanding performance. Still, he later admitted to accepting the part under pressure from his mother and children. “If I didn’t do it, they would disown me,” Judge said.
In the end, Christopher Judge’s version of T’Chala turned out to be something different, by design. Crystal Dynamics, and people in charge of the narrative, made T’Challa a bit older in War for Wakanda than in the 2018’s feature film and thus more confident in his role – something Chadwick’s version lacked at times. Additionally, War for Wakanda’s narrative lead Hanna MacLeod, and her consultant, Evan Narcisse, promised significant changes to the Black Panther narrative players might remember from the MCU or comics.
The upcoming War of Wakanda expansion for 2020’s action role-playing brawler video game Marvel’s Avengers is the developer’s response to the ongoing criticism of the main game’s lack of content and technical issues. It adds a new single-player campaign that comes with new adversaries, two central villains, and a robust cast of Wakandans, including the Dora Milaje. In addition, some of its narrative is directly based on Rise of the Black Panther, a 2018 comic book released along with the highly-anticipated film.
Christopher Judge recorded the entirety of his work on Marvel’s Avengers in his at-home recording studio in Los Angeles, which presented its own hardships, especially not being able to physically interact with other voice actors, due to COVID-19 lockdowns. He worked together with Beth McGuire, a dialect coach on the Black Panther movie, to help him adopt a high-pitched voice for his Wakandan accent required by the role – something he admitted took time, given his deep voice. Apart from the upcoming War for Wakanda, Christopher Judge is set to reprise his portrayal of Kratos in the recently delayed God of War sequel.
Christopher Judge, Evan Narcisse, and Hannah MacLeod will appear on Marvel’s Avengers Livestream this Friday at 1 PM EDT to discuss the upcoming expansion.