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Ernie Hudson Thought He Was Going To Be Tapped For A Black Panther Role – Exclusive

Ernie Hudson's name is practically synonymous with "Ghostbusters," in which he landed his breakout role in 1984 as paranormal hired hand Winston Zeddemore. Since then, he has starred in such films as "The Crow" and "Miss Congeniality" and on TV series including "Oz," "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," and "Grace and Frankie." His most recent project, the 2022 revival of "Quantum Leap," airs on NBC and streams on Peacock.

But while Hudson has a long, enviable career, one acting accomplishment has so far eluded him: a major role in a Marvel movie. While he's done some DC Comics-related cameos, including voicing a character in the 2016 animated film "Batman: Bad Blood" and appearing on a 2019 episode of The CW's "Arrow," his Marvel experience is even more limited and disparate, with a one-off appearance on a 1979 episode of "The Incredible Hulk" and a 2017 voice role in the animated "Spider-Man" series.

However, during an exclusive interview with Looper, the veteran actor opened up about the fact that a few years back he thought he was going to land a part in 2018's blockbuster "Black Panther."

Hudson wanted to play King T'Chaka

When asked by Looper whether he has a "dream role" within either the DC or Marvel universes, Hudson is quick on the draw. "I thought at one point they were talking about me being the Black Panther's dad [T'Chaka]," he says. "Or the fans were talking about it, at least. I don't know if anybody else was talking about it. I don't know why I haven't been [tapped for a 'Black Panther' role]. I'm like, 'Hey, guys!' I keep raising my hand. 'Hey, over here, it's me, it's Ernie.'"

The role of T'Chaka, who made his onscreen debut in 2016's "Captain America: Civil War," ultimately went to the lesser-known John Kani. Still, despite saying he's "past the stage of begging for a job," the 76-year-old Hudson is hoping Marvel eventually looks his way.

"I love comics," he says. "I grew up loving comics. I'd love to do [a Marvel movie]. I'm open to anything that would be fun to do ... If they found something that was interesting, I'd love to be a part of [the MCU]. You do those things because I have grandkids, I have great-grandkids, and those are things they'll watch for some time to come."

You can currently see Hudson on "Quantum Leap," which returns to NBC on January 2, 2023. The first half of Season 1, including the fall finale, can be streamed on Peacock.