Black Panther/T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) made a splash with his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having now emerged as one of the most widely-acclaimed aspects of the MCU's Phase 3 starter, Captain America: Civil War. Casting for the Black Panther movie has picked up since then too, in keeping with Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige's previous claim that casting announcements for the film will be arriving well before the end of this summer, ahead of production getting started at the very beginning of 2017.
Ryan Coogler is both directing and co-writing Black Panther and has reportedly already recruited his Fruitvale Station and Creed star Michael B. Jordan to play a role in the Marvel film, in addition to having brought Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o onboard too. Rumors are now circulating that Boseman and the other tentative members of the Black Panther cast could be joined by none other than Nyong'o's Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens costar, John Boyega.
Best of Marvel noticed that Boyega posted a photo labeled "Meeting" to his Snapchat account shortly before Feige started following the actor through his official Twitter account. Meanwhile, in a separate article that was published by Heroic Hollywood about Coogler's recent Black Panther-related comments (wherein he referred to the superhero film as being his "most personal" movie yet), the site reported that "hot, unconfirmed scuttlebutt" had informed them that Boyega is, in fact, meeting about a role in Coogler's Marvel comic book adaptation.
Obviously, this rumor should be taken as just that (re: a rumor) given that it's based on largely circumstantial evidence at the moment. Nevertheless, there are a few reasons to think that there could be actual fire behind this smoke, including:
- Boyega has not made it a secret in the past that he would love to be in the Black Panther movie, having even indicated that he was "aiming" to play T'Challa himself before Boseman was cast in the role, back in 2014.
- Coogler and Boyega are, in fact, acquainted with one another, as evidenced by the photos of them together at the Star Wars: The Force Awakens' red carpet premiere. So, that improves the probably of Coogler at least meeting with Boyega about a role in the Black Panther film.
- Similar to Nyong'o, who also voiced Raksha in The Jungle Book this year and costars in the Disney-backed Queen of Katwe later this year, Boyega is already a member of the "Disney family," thanks to his fan-favorite role as the ex-stormtrooper Finn in The Force Awakens and the in-production Star Wars: Episode VIII. As such, Boyega may be all the more inclined to book a trip to the Marvel side of Disney's entertainment empire too.
Feige has also said that the Black Panther movie ensemble cast will be around 90% African-American, African, and/or black actors, which only improves the chances of an in-demand actor like Boyega joining the film's cast too. Now that Boyega has a leading role in one major franchise under his belt thanks to The Force Awakens and should continue to appear in Star Wars movie until at least 2019, it's not unreasonable to think he would be open to playing a supporting role in a film that he's openly passionate about, a la Black Panther. Of course, even if he is actively circling Coogler's superhero movie, Boyega's commitment to the Star Wars brand could end up preventing him from accepting a role in Black Panther, should an offer be made.
UPDATE: BMD's Devin Faraci is reporting that he has spoken to "three sources within Marvel" and all of them agree that Boyega is not currently in talks for Black Panther. However, Marvel Studios is very much open to working with the actor in the future, so he may yet join the MCU in the foreseeable future. Boyega's agent has also now confirmed that Boyega will not appear in Marvel's Black Panther.
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.