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‘Thor 2′ Star Still Interested in ‘Black Panther,’ Talks His Gladiatorial Battles in ‘Pompeii’

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
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Aside from what we’ve seen from Chris Hemsworth’s return as the Avenger from Asgard, one of the most anticipated aspects of ‘Thor: The Dark World‘ is seeing the dueled comic book villain Algrim/Kurse brought to life on the big screen by ‘LOST’ and ‘G.I. Joe’ star Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. Although the actor has expressed interest in playing the Black Panther in a future Marvel movie, which the studio confirmed is in active development, he tells ScreenCrush he’s just honored to be involved in this cinematic universe in any respect.

Still, with more high-profile roles coming up, including ‘Resident Evil’ helmer Paul W.S. Anderson’s ’Pompeii,’ is there a chance he could still tackle his favorite childhood superhero? Or be featured in more Marvel movies, for that matter?

Speaking with ScreenCrush over the phone, Adewale says he’s just as in the dark as any fan of Black Panther, though he seems still as interested as he ever was.

It’s been a favorite character of mine as a child, and I’ve always said it would be great to play, but honestly I’m just happy to be a part of the Marvel world. When I got the call to be in ‘Thor,’ you could say yes or no, and it was always a definite yes without any qualms whatsoever because I just think these are the people that make these movies best. And the chance to be in business with them is a great opportunity, and I just think it’s the beginning of a fruitful relationship.

What will happen? We’ll see. But just to play any character in the Marvel world, to me, is a great honor.

Even if he doesn’t land the coveted role — Chadwick Boseman and Morris Chestnut are two other rumored names — he still has a couple of films on the horizon, including one “iconic” role.

Aside from working on the rebooted ‘Annie,’ he says he trained heavily for ‘Pompeii.’ In the film, based on the historical events of Mt. Vesuvius with a love story thrown in, Adewale portrays Atticus, the champion gladiator of Pompeii and Milo’s (Kit Harington) friendly foe.

“The process was absolutely backbreaking. I trained for six weeks, and I lost 35 lbs. in weight to play this character,” he said. “… [Atticus is] very humorous, very noble, but he’s fiercely, fiercely brutal. I have an axe, like, twice the size of me. I don’t think I’ve ever been fitter in my life, to be honest, but it was a great character to play.”

Though Atticus and Milo are imprisoned together as gladiatorial rivals, Adewale says a mutual respect develops out of their predicament, though they are ultimately destined to fight each other to the death.

“Very rarely do you get black characters that are so iconic, and that’s what this is. Atticus is an iconic character.”

Check back later for our full interview with Adewale, in which he discusses his duel role of Algrim/Kurse in ‘Thor: The Dark World,’ and more on his upcoming projects, including ‘Annie’ and ‘Pompeii.’

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