New Details Emerge About Upcoming Black Panther Solo Film

Image: William Tung

Image: William Tung

New details are beginning to emerge about the plot and cast of the upcoming Black Panther film, the first major-studio adaptation of a Marvel Universe comic to feature an African-American lead.

Major cast members were revealed at the San Diego Comic Con last week: Chadwick Boseman, who plays T’Challa/Black Panther in this year’s blockbuster Captain America: Civil War, will reprise his role for the solo feature. Luptia Nyong’o (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) will play Nakia, a character who, in the comics, is a sometimes-friend, sometimes-foe of Black Panther.

Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead) will play another of Black Panther’s female bodyguards, Okoye, and Michael B. Jordan (Creed) is slated to appear as one of the story’s villains, Erik Killmonger.

However, as Nyong’o revealed at Comic Con, there will be at least two villains.

“Black Panther’s leadership is being threatened by two foes that come together, and so Black Panther gets the help of the CIA and the Dora Milajei [his female bodyguards] to try to defeat the enemy,” she said, then stopped herself short for fear of giving away too much. “Oh dear. Someone is going to fire me shortly. I have to shut up now.”

After the panel, Boseman also shared details about the film with People magazine — though less about the plot, and more about his excitement for the project. “It’s a lot of different things put together in a way that’s just cool and you’ve never seen before,” he said of his character. “He has a cool suit, he’s masked, it’s mysterious, he’s a leader, he’s almost like James Bond at times.”

Boseman also stressed that the timing of the film couldn’t be more important: 50 years after the first comics originally appeared at the height of the Civil Rights movement, he’s glad to see a strong black lead in a major motion picture. “It’s going to ring true to people. Not just African people and people of African descent, but to all people because they know that we’re living in a world that promotes something that is not balanced. So it brings a bit of a balance back to things.”

The film is scheduled for a February 2018 release date. Times may be tough for the film industry in an age where 26% of Americans struggle to pay their bills on time, let alone afford movie tickets, but if the success of this year’s Captain American is any indication, Black Panther is sure to be a hit.

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