Ever since Chadwick Boseman made his debut as Black Panther aka T’Challa in “Captain America: Civil War”, we’re now more curious than ever about the King of Wakanda’s upcoming solo adventure.
Thankfully, fans can be rest assured that there won’t be any whitewashing for “Black Panther”. Marvel boss Kevin Feige recently told Empire Film Podcast that “90% of the cast is either African or African-American“, after adding that it “will be amongst the best ensembles we’ve ever had.”
It makes sense to have the majority of the cast made up of African-American or African actors since the story is essentially taking place in the fictional African city of Wakanda.
We got our first glimpse of Wakanda during the first post credits scene of “Civil War”, which is where The Winter Solider/ Bucky is taking refuge. We also got to see the giant Black Panther statue that guards T’Challa’s secret facility. In other “Captain America: Civil War” scenes, T’Challa and his father T’chaka were seen speaking to each other in the Wakandan language.
Director Joe Russo recently revealed in an interview that the native tongue is actually an African language known as Xhosa. According to him, over 7.6 million people speak this language.
Although the full cast of “Black Panther” hasn’t been announced, 2 major A-list actors will reportedly join Boseman in his upcoming superhero saga. Michael B. Jordan (“Fantastic Four”) and Lupita Nyong’o (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) are expected to play a villain and love interest respectively.
Rumour has it that the Oscar-winning actress could be playing a member of the Dora Milaje: an elite group of female bodyguards who are also potential queens for an unmarried Wakandan king. Alternatively, she could potentially play Monica Lynne, a singer who saves T’Challa from danger and was his longtime lover in the Marvel comics.
As for Jordan, fans are speculating that he could end up playing Erik Killmonger, a native Wakandan who was exiled as a result of his father’s affiliation to the villainous Ulysses Klaue (played by Andy Serkis in “Avengers: Age of Ultron”) and ultimately returns to seek revenge.
Ryan Coogler, who is the director for “Black Panther”, has cast Jordan in every movie he has made so far, including the critically acclaimed “Fruitvale Station” and last year’s hit “Creed”. No doubt the director had a hand in casting the actor in this film, thus overwriting the possibility of a potential “Fantastic Four” sequel.
Here’s another fun fact: Jordan’s official casting would mean that both actors who have previously stepped into the role of Johnny Storm/ the Human Torch are now in the MCU family. Mr Captain America himself, Chris Evans, starred in 2 “Fantastic Four” movies before, while Jordan played the same character in last year’s disastrous reboot.
“Black Panther” is expected to begin filming early 2017, and is currently slated for release on 16th February 2018.
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