LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 26: Nate Moore arrives for UK film premiere ‘Captain America: Civil War’ at Vue Westfield on April 26, 2016 in London, England.

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Nate Moore has achieved a Marvel feat of his own: Going from reading comics as a kid to landing as executive producer alongside Marvel mastermind Stan Lee himself for the iconic brand’s latest global smash Captain America: Civil War. To say that’s worlds away for a kid who grew up with a single mother, two sisters, an older brother and a love for the movies in Clovis, California, a mid-sized town over three hours from Los Angeles, is far from cliché. An internship with Columbia Pictures led to his first industry job as an assistant there as well as his first brush with Marvel working on Spider-Man. A little over six years ago, he officially joined the universe and, on the big screen, has helped spread the Marvel magic to a new generation.

The Root caught up with Moore in Atlanta and talked about his rise at Marvel and, of course, lots of Black Panther.

The Root: When you first joined Marvel, what did you do?

Nate Moore: I worked on the Marvel Writers Program. So the idea with the Writers Program was to develop all of the characters that weren’t currently on the slate. At the time they were in pre-production on Captain America I [The First Avenger] and Thor, but characters like Black Panther, Dr. Strange, Iron Fist, Guardians of the Galaxy were in the Writers Program so I was trying to figure out ways to get those scripts into shape so that they could be made into movies.

And while I was in there, I was able, with Nicole Perlman [first woman to write a Marvel film], to get Guardians of the Galaxy up to the point where we were going to make the movie, which was great, but we also needed to make Captain America 2 [The Winter Soldier] so [the producer] said hey I know you helped to make Guardians so will you help me with Captain America 2 [The Winter Soldier] and of course I said “yeah” because I’m not crazy. And so that’s how I ended up on Captain America 2 [The Winter Soldier] and obviously with Markus McFeely crafted that story, introduced the Falcon and hired Joe and Anthony Russo and that film did really well so they kept the team together for Captain America III and I sort of was promoted from co-producer to executive producer.

TR: Since you’ve been there, Marvel’s universe has gotten really diverse. We’ve seen Don Cheadle in Iron Man, Anthony Mackie in Captain America, Zoe Saldana in Guardians of the Galaxy and now Chadwick Boseman starring in Black Panther. Is this a coincidence?

NM: I think it is a reflection of the characters [already in the comic books]. Like, for me, Captain America and the Falcon were always together so when I started Captain America: Winter Soldier, the first thing I talked to Markus McFeely about was how do we bring the Falcon into the universe because that’s a character that resonates with me. For Civil War, when we were looking for the character who could stand next to Captain America and Iron Man and feel like an equal, the first character I thought of was Black Panther because, again, for me, that was the character as a kid that I responded to. So yeah I think it’s sort of a reflection of what I liked as a kid and I liked black superheroes because they were a reflection of my experience.


Chadwick Boseman portrays Black Panther.  


TR: Let’s talk Black Panther.

NM: I think [Civil War] does a great job introducing the character and making him somebody you’re immediately interested in and want to know more about. The Black Panther standalone movie now gets to explore the world of Wakanda, which is amazing. The sort of most technologically advanced nation in the heart of Africa. It’s really compelling and Black Panther has a great cast of characters around him that’s really interesting.

So it gets to be a movie that is going to be a predominantly black cast, whether it’s African American or African, on sort of the scale that you don’t get to see all the time. For us, it’s Mission Impossible; it is a globe-trotting, action-adventure movie, but with really interesting casting and Ryan Coogler, who is directing it, is super talented and I think sees this film as an opportunity not only to really entertain, but also to tackle some really interesting issues.

TR: Why is Ryan Coogler the right director?

NM: I think he’s going to tell a really great story. Just his approach to Wakanda I think is really compelling. It is both faithful to what happens in the comic, but also contemporary in a way that comics sometimes aren’t. His ideas for casting are really cool. His ideas for action are really cool. We are officially in pre-production [in May] so it’s happening and it’s really exciting and he’s co-writing it with a writer named Joe Robert Cole.

TR: Isn’t he black and didn’t he write and co-produce on The People v. O.J. Simpson?

NM: Yeah. I think he ended up writing three episodes for that show and he came out of our Marvel Writers Program and he’s super talented as well. It’s interesting because he spent a lot of time in the Bay [Area] so they have some interesting shared history and I think together they are coming up with some really cool ideas.

TR: So what makes Chadwick Boseman, whom we know as Jackie Robinson from 42 and James Brown in Get on Up, Black Panther?

NM: There’s such a gravitas to his performance. Even on set I think the other actors were sort of surprised because Marvel films, when we’re filming, are actually really fun and everyone’s kind of playful. Chadwick is very serious and sort of has this bearing that forces you to pay attention and also kind of forces you to not joke around so much because he’s so good, even in stillness. Like even when he’s not saying anything everybody just sort of can’t help but look at him. So, in the film, I think you really feel that. You feel that everyone else goes ‘oh I have to take that guy seriously.’  And he moves on the screen in a way that’s really amazing.

And when we cast him, the truth is we had only really seen 42. I always remember the scene in the tunnel where he loses it and he can only do it in private and we were like that kind of strength is something we want this character to have. And he’s also a chameleon because, when you look at all those movies, he’s so different. Jackie Robinson is so different from his James Brown and I think will be much different I’m sure than his Thurgood Marshall.

TR: How have audiences responded to Black Panther so far?

NM: Now that the film is out, the response to Panther is so strong because we took the time to do it right. . . . Now we can just tell a really good story for Black Panther and they’re going to come to that too.

Captain America: Civil War is in theatres now while Black Panther is slated for a 2018 release.