On February 16th, 2018, Marvel Studios will release Black Panther – the last movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe continuity before Avengers: Infinity War, and the first-ever black superhero to headline an MCU film.
The production team behind this movie is what dreams are made of. Ryan Coogler, who wrote and directed the critically-acclaimed Creed (Rocky’s 2015 sequel), will serve as director and co-writer of Black Panther. Joining him on the writing side is Joe Robert Cole, who was one of the writers behind FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Rachel Morrison, the brilliant mind behind the cinematography of 2013’s Fruitvale Station and 2015’s Dope, also worked on the movie. Ruth E. Carter, who was twice nominated for an Oscar for her costume design work in 1992’s Malcom X and 1997’s Amistad, will be responsible for the incredible costumes in Black Panther.
As Marvel Studios prepares for this 18th installment of its Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans around the world are left waiting for what is surely going to be a strong candidate to join the pantheon of greatest superhero movies of all time. Black Panther is coming to take over the MCU, and just like it happened with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming, it wouldn’t be surprising if a sequel is confirmed for Phase 4 right after the film is released.
This is Every Character Confirmed To Appear In Black Panther.
15 T’CHALLA / BLACK PANTHER
After losing his father (T’Chaka) during the events of Captain America: Civil War – which is when Black Panther was introduced to the MCU – T’Challa has to go back to Wakanda and lead his people in this post-T’Chaka era. There are also all sorts of outside threats coming to Wakanda, which will certainly challenge T’Challa to protect his kingdom beyond politics.
T’Challa will once again be portrayed by actor Chadwick Boseman, who before the MCU was best known for his role as James Brown in 2014’s Get On Up.
John Boyega, who plays Finn in the new ongoing Star Wars trilogy, was previously considered for the role.
14 ERIK KILLMONGER
A Wakandan exile who seeks power and revenge, Erik Killmonger is poised to be one of the most interesting parts of Black Panther, and what prompted actor Daniel Kaluuya to describe this movie as “Marvel’s Game of Thrones.”
Power struggles will be a constant in Black Panther as T’Challa is a new king trying to stabilize an entire nation while protecting it from outside threats. Erik Killmonger has strong opposing views in regards to how Wakanda should be run, and pictures of the movie featured on Entertainment Weekly have revealed that the two of them will also be physically fighting for the Wakandan throne.
Michael B. Jordan will be playing Erik Killmonger. The actor previously played the superhero Johnny Storm in 2015’s Fantastic Four, but this is his introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He has also already worked with Black Panther’s director, Ryan Coogler, since Jordan played the protagonist of Creed.
Nakia is T’Challa’s former girlfriend and a spy for Wakanda in their all-female special unit Dora Milaje, which is responsible for guarding the king himself. There is certainly going to be a lot of tension between these two characters since they share a personal past and a professional present.
In the images and videos that have come out to promote Black Panther, Nakia is seen fighting and gathering intel like a full-fledged warrior and spy. In the comics, most of her storylines were focused on getting attention from T’Challa and being in love with him. However, this movie adaptation seems to have a more mature, independent, and self-serving Nakia.
Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o will be playing Nakia. Since 2015, the actress has been busy with all-Disney properties: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Jungle Book, Queen of Katwe, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Okoye is the head of Dora Milaje, which means that she leads Nakia and is the person most responsible for T’Challa’s safety. This character is known for being extremely honorable, serious, and dutiful, but it has been revealed that her unique sense of humor will also be displayed in the film.
It’s not surprising that the head of a secret service-like special military unit is a strong and stern figure like Okoye. Based on the description of the Avengers: Infinity War D23 trailer, the Dora Milaje will also be featured there as they join the fight against Thanos. Black Panther will be responsible for introducing these warriors and showing us what they’re capable of.
Okoye will be portrayed by Danai Gurira, who is most known for playing the character of Michonne in AMC’s The Walking Dead.
11 EVERETT K. ROSS
In the comics, Everett K. Ross is portrayed as an ally of T’Challa. But so far, as seen in the Black Panther trailers, the MCU’s Everett K. Ross is only learning about Wakanda, and his allegiance seems completely unclear.
Ross is an operative of the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre, and was introduced to the MCU in Captain America: Civil War by Sharon Carter after the imprisonment of the Winter Soldier. In Black Panther, this character will probably be intrigued by Wakanda and T’Challa, and eager to learn more about them to make a judgment of whether he can trust this nation and its King.
Martin Freeman, who recently portrayed Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit trilogy, will be reprising his Civil War role as Everett K. Ross in Black Panther.
W’Kabi is the man in charge of security for the Border Tribe, and also T’Challa’s best friend. The Border Tribe serves as a specific line of defense for Wakanda since it protects the nation’s frontiers.
In the comics, this character was introduced three years after T’Challa himself, and was often portrayed as second-in-command for the Wakandan king. Since Okoye came from the Border Tribe, it is safe to say that W’Kabi will share a connection with her as well.
In 2018, Kaluuya will also star in the new Steve McQueen film, a heist thriller called Widows.
9 QUEEN RAMONDA
The widow Ramonda is the Queen of Wakanda. She will be guiding her son T’Challa in his new position as king at the same time that she is mourning the loss of her husband T’Chaka. She is certainly going to play a huge role in the decisions that T’Challa will make for Wakanda, especially so soon after the passing of their former king and in the midst of dealing with so many outside threats.
In the comics, it was revealed that Ramonda was T’Chaka’s second wife, but it is uncertain if this piece of information will be relevant in the Black Panther movie.
The incredible Angela Bassett will be playing Queen Ramonda. While we saw T’Chaka in Captain America: Civil War, Ramonda's entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be in Black Panther.
Zuri is a sort of elder political figure and spiritual guide in Wakanda, respected and listened to. He protects the Heart-Shaped Herb; a Wakandan plant that many believed was a gift from the Panther God. In the comics, however, it was revealed at one point that the herb was actually a vibranium-made meteorite that fell from the sky.
The Heart-Shaped Herb is also a significant part of a person becoming the Black Panther since the juice of the herb is applied to that person’s body. In the case of Black Panther, T’Challa has gone through that process to become the hero he is known to be.
Forest Whitaker, who was recently seen as Saw Gerrera in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, will be playing Zuri in Black Panther.
7 ULYSSES KLAUE / KLAW
Ulysses Klaue, also known as just Klaw, is an otherwise powerless arms dealer who is trying to steal vibranium from Wakanda. The character was first introduced in Avengers: Age of Ultron as a hint to the fact that Black Panther was coming to the MCU. While he was initially an ally of Ultron’s, the relationship was strained during that film, and Klaw was forced to retreat from his base and postpone his plans.
In the Black Panther trailers, Klaw is seen explaining to Everett K. Ross what Wakanda is and why that nation matters. He seems enamored by the concept of Wakanda, though that is certainly driven by greed.
Actor Andy Serkis, who is widely celebrated for his motion-capture works in franchises such as The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Planet of the Apes reboot, and the current Star Wars trilogy, will reprise his live-action role as Klaw in Black Panther.
Like fellow Dora Milaje warriors Okoye and Nakia, Ayo serves as a sort of bodyguard intel gatherer Secret Service unit member to T’Challa, the King of Wakanda. In the comics, it was revealed at one point that Ayo had a lover called Aneka, who she rescued from imprisonment and ran away with. There is no official word, however, if Ayo’s sexuality will be explored in Black Panther.
Ayo will be played once again by Florence Kasumba. The actress is also known for having portrayed the Amazonian Senator Acantha in 2017’s Wonder Woman.
Though T’Chaka was killed in the events of Captain America: Civil War, the character is poised to make an appearance in Black Panther. Since a huge part of the film will be about T’Challa finding his way as the new King of Wakanda, it is safe to assume that T’Chaka is not being brought back to life, but instead making an appearance in a flashback sequence.
In the comics, it is explained that T’Chaka rose to the Wakandan throne after the death of Azzuri the Wise. During World War II, T’Chaka met Captain America as the hero went to Wakanda to seek assistance in his fight against the Red Skull. Before Ramonda, T’Chaka was married to N’Yami, who was the mother of T’Challa (a fact that seems to have been changed in the MCU).
Actor John Kani will reprise his role as T’Chaka.
M’Baku is the leader of the Jabari, Wakanda’s mountain tribe. In Black Panther, the Jabari will not be pleased whatsoever with T’Challa as the new king, and will contribute to the internal political turmoil in Wakanda. Unlike T’Challa, M’Baku and the Jabari worship the Gorilla, not the Panther God.
In the Marvel comics, M’Baku is also known as Man-Ape, a man who gained his powers by bathing in white gorilla’s flesh and blood. He was nearly always trying to sabotage the Wakandan throne and ruling the nation according to his own principles.
M’Baku will be portrayed for the first time ever in a live-action project by Winston Duke, an actor who is making his cinematic debut in Black Panther. His previous work includes appearances in the TV series Person of Interest, The Messengers, and Modern Family.
T’Challa’s little sister, Shuri, is the head chief of technology in Wakanda, and someone with a fresh and forward-thinking mentality that is in stark contrast to the very traditionalist views that many Wakandans share.
In the comics, Shuri was the actual child of Ramonda and only a half-sister to T’Challa. In Black Panther, they are both children of Ramonda, and therefore full siblings. Also in the comics, at one point Shuri actually became the Black Panther after several years of training to succeed her brother.
Letitia Wright, the breakout star of Urban Hymn, will play Shuri in Black Panther – a character who might have a long and bright future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 2018 will be a huge year for Wright since she is also set to star in the highly-anticipated movie Ready Player One.
Not very much has been released in regards to the character N’Jobu. The only thing his bio (released by Marvel Studios) reveals is that he is “a figure from T’Challa’s past.”
There is no record of any character named N’Jobu in the Black Panther comic book mythos, and any assumptions in regards to his identity are simply unreliable guesses since there is no comic book character that presents himself as an obvious equivalent to N’Jobu. He is obviously someone who will have a big importance (or make a big reveal) in Black Panther. Otherwise, Marvel Studios wouldn’t go to such lengths to keep his biography a secret.
Sterling K. Brown, mostly known for his roles in This Is Us and The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, will play N’Jobu in Marvel’s Black Panther.
1 TILDA JOHNSON
Also poised to make an MCU debut in Black Panther is the character Tilda Johnson, otherwise known as Nightshade (or even Dr. Nightshade).
In the comics, Tilda is a poor New Yorker who discovers that she’s a genius in science and goes on to use her intelligence to conduct criminal activities. She has been defeated by Iron Fist, Captain America, S.H.I.E.L.D., and yes, Black Panther.
Little is known in regards to her role in Black Panther, however, and whether her Nightshade alias will be revealed in the film or if it will come out later in her MCU presence is still unclear. One also has to wonder if she has anything to do with Klaw’s criminal activities to steal vibranium from Wakanda.
Actress Nabiyah Be will portray Tilda Johnson in Black Panther. It is the actress’ first ever role in a movie.
Are you excited for Black Panther? What do you think of the cast? Let us know in the comments!