Black Panther doesn’t even come out for two years, but it’s already a highly-anticipated movie, thanks in part to its star-studded cast that just added another: Michael B. Jordan is rumored to be joining.
Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa (aka Black Panther) was a big hit with fans following his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in this month’s Captain America: Civil War. After leaving the theater, I was more excited for his upcoming solo film than any of the other vehicles left on the slate for Marvel’s Phase III (except maybe Captain Marvel). Excitement for the project continued to mount when earlier this week it was revealed that Lupita Nyong’o was in talks to play the part of T’Challa’s love interest.
Now news has surfaced that Michael B. Jordan is set to join Black Panther as well. There isn’t any information as to what character he would be playing, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, he could be cast as a villain. He already has ties to the film due to his previous work (Creed, Fruitvale Station) with Black Panther‘s director, Ryan Coogler.
But the MCU ties don’t end there, as Michael is currently developing a remake of The Thomas Crown Affair (which has already been remade once with Pierce Brosnan, the original starred Steve McQueen) with Joe and Anthony Russo, who are behind Civil War (as well as Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the next installment of The Avengers).
Michael recently played Johnny Storm (aka the Human Torch) in last year’s poorly-received Fantastic Four reboot, which gives him another MCU connection, as he isn’t the first person to have played Johnny Storm only to join the MCU in another role. (That would be Captain America himself, Chris Evans, and if there isn’t a scene with the two of them together I will demand a refund.)
MCU chief Kevin Feige recently promised in an Empire Film podcast that Black Panther would have a cast that’s 90% black. Considering the movie is about the king of an African country, I would sure hope so, especially after the backlash Marvel has gotten for whitewashing one of the Asian characters in this fall’s Doctor Strange. There may be some criticism about casting Lupita and Michael – as such in-demand actors who are already in well-known franchises, it doesn’t give unknown black actors and actresses the chance to land these roles – but with the promise of a 90% black cast, there are still opportunities for new faces. (Remember, Chris Hemsworth and even Chadwick Boseman weren’t exactly household names prior to joining the MCU.)
With such a stellar cast, critically-acclaimed director, and a main character that has already charmed audiences, Black Panther is shaping up to be an unbelievable film when it finally graces our screens on February 16, 2018.
If you, like me, are still delving into the ever-expanding Marvel universe, don’t forget to check out Marvel’s new Black Panther video series, which aims to provide background on the character and his home country of Wakanda.
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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