Marvel’s Black Panther movie has been in the works for years, but the project caught fire with the title character’s scene-stealing debut in Captain America: Civil War. Not only were audiences worldwide captivated by Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, the warrior-king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, the subsequent focus on the prospect of Marvel and Disney releasing a big-budget superhero movie set in Africa, helmed by a black director and featuring a rumored 90 percent black main cast has made the film a focal point in the ongoing discussion of race and representation in the film industry.
Now, a casting call sheet allegedly connected to the film has surfaced online, possibly offering a look at which characters Marvel is still seeking actors and actresses for in Ryan Coogler’s hotly anticipated film.
Posted to a website called moviecastingcall.org, the casting list (which was first discovered online by Omega Underground) list is comprised of roles that are still thought to be officially unfilled at this time. While it was already assumed by most that Andy Serkis would return as traditional Black Panther nemesis Klaw after having been introduced in Avengers: Age Ultron and that Martin Freeman’s Everett Ross from Civil War would do so as well (both characters are mainly associated with Black Panther in the comics), the call sheet — if legitimate — would qualify as the first confirmation of this. The remaining roles yet to be cast call for characters traditionally depicted as being native to Wakanda in the comics, including as follows:
A member of the Dora Milaje, a specially chosen order of Wakandan women originally conceived as wives-in-training for the King but revived and retooled into an elite order of bodyguards by T’Challa. Okoye is usually depicted as among the most loyal of the order, even communicating with the Black Panther in an obscure African dialect only the two of them speak fluently.
T’Challa’s longest-running romantic interest, originally introduced as an American singer whom T’Challa encountered during his semi-regular excursions to the United States while a part-time member of The Avengers.
An elderly Wakandan man who traditionally serves as the Black Panther’s chief political adviser and even rules in his stead as acting regent when T’Challa himself is not in the country.
A bizarre character whose inclusion in the film (unless heavily revised) would likely come as a surprise to even die-hard Black Panther fans. In the comics, Achebe is a poor farmer from a war-stricken region of Africa who sells his soul to Mephisto (read: the Devil) in order to be reborn after being viciously beaten and left for dead by government soldiers. Reborn as a trickster and schemer (at one point attempting to seize control of Wakanda) he is also mentally unstable and keeps “counsel” with his friend Daki — a hand puppet he speaks to as if it were alive.
T’Challa’s military second-in-command.
A Wakandan soldier of particularly imposing size and strength.
One of Black Panther’s main recurring nemesis. The son of a Wakandan traitor exiled for giving aid to Klaw, Killmonger moves to the United States and studies combat and technology in order to exact revenge on T’Challa, effectively remaking himself into a kind of evil equivalent to the Panther in terms of skill and abilities. The casting sheet also lists a part for “Malice,” a female villain mutated into a servant of Killmonger, who is often allied with a female love interest of his own, “Madam Slay,” who has the power to control leopards.
T’Challa’s adopted older brother Hunter, a White orphan who survived a plane crash in Wakanda and was taken in by King T’Chaka before his biological son was conceived. A fierce patriot of his adopted homeland (despite being distrusted by many because of his ever-visible “otherness”), he becomes head of Wakanda’s secret police but is banished by his brother for using banned torture techniques on prisoners. He takes up the “White Wolf” persona in order to get back at his brother, whom he resents for taking a throne that otherwise might have been his.
QUEEN DIVINE JUSTICE
A street-tough young woman (real name Chante Giovanni Brown) discovered at one point to be the rightful heir to the Jibari Tribe, a seperatist group living within Wakanda.
Often thought of as Black Panther’s key enemy outside of Klaw, The Man-Ape (real name: M’Baku) is the self-appointed ruler of Wakanda’s separatist Jibari Tribe, which disdains technology and follows the religion of the White Gorilla Cult, a rival sect opposing that of the Black Panther faith. As The Man-Ape, M’Baku dons a strength-enhancing suit partially built from the hide of a white gorilla, and has served as a member of villain teams such as The Lethal Legion. The character has seen much less action in recent years, with many modern writers shying away from using him due to the potentially insensitive connotations of his name and gimmick.
If proven to be legitimate, a casting call for these characters would certainly bolster the idea that Marvel is positioning Black Panther as not simply a superhero movie but a drama set within the complex social structure of the fictional Wakanda, with T’Challa facing a web of political and personal intrigue more befitting a character on Game of Thrones than a resident of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While it would seem likely that at least some of these characters would appear in the film, they may appear in roles significantly different from their comic book origins; perhaps using their non-costumed identities primarily or serving in an otherwise altered capacity.
At this time, Marvel has not commented on whether or not the call sheet is reflective of the film itself. The initial casting call post was put up by Alan Baltes, whose previous similar casting reports were sourced from the trade publication Production Weekly and have yielded correct information on Marvel productions before — though fans should take all such rumors with the requisite grain of salt. Screen Rant will bring you more Black Panther casting news as it develops.
Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now. Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.
Source: Omega Underground