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November 20, 2019

Chadwick Boseman explains why '21 Bridges', which filmed all over Philly, changed its name

The 'Black Panther' star joined Ellen DeGeneres this week to talk about his upcoming film and its four additional bridges, which premieres Nov. 22

Movies Filming
chadwick boseman 17 Bridges Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports

Chadwick Boseman, right, star of the upcoming film '21 Bridges', is seen here with Chris Tucker in a photo taken in February 2018.

Philadelphia residents will remember the minor fervor that swept through the city last fall when Chadwick Boseman, of "Black Panther" fame, was seen all over for weeks as he worked on his next film, "17 Bridges", which is set in New York City.

There might be some minor confusion, then, when a film called "21 Bridges," which stars Boseman and is set in NYC, premieres this Friday.

No, this isn't another example of the "Berenstain Bears" effect: It's the same film we were all breathlessly tracking last October, just with four extra bridges. And the reason for the title change is hilariously silly.

In the movie, according to Boseman, eight police officers are killed, and Boseman has to find the killers. The New York Police Department shuts down Manhattan, including any and all bridge access, hence the film's title, both old and new.

During a visit with Ellen DeGeneres this week, Boseman explained why the name changed:

DeGeneres: It's called "21 Bridges" because there are 21 bridges that you had to shut down.

Boseman: Well, at first we – it was called "17 Bridges." [pause for laughter] I'm serious. The name of the movie at first, when I got it, was "17 Bridges". And we were about to shoot the speech, and they were like, 'We're not actually sure if it's 17.' I was like, 'Well, how many is it? I'm gonna say this in about 20 minutes.' So it turns out it's 21.

DeGeneres: Seems like all you have to do is count. I don't know why people didn't know how many bridges there were.

Boseman: And I pride myself on doing the research, but I was like, 'Uh, I wish I would've known this.'

Hollywood folks: They're just like us, dumb mistakes and all.

You can watch the full clip below:

If you head to theaters this weekend to catch "21 Bridges", keep an eye out for local spots like Rittenhouse Square restaurant Tinto, the city's Chinatown neighborhood, and even Chester County.


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