Black Panther has a release date of February 16, 2018 (a week earlier in the UK), and is directed by Creed’s Ryan Coogler. The character’s introduction in Captain America: Civil War brought several elements to the Marvel Cinematic Universe that had only been hinted at in previous films: the fictional African nation of Wakanda, for example, as well as the idea of a superhero character who’s the king of his own nation.
The character made a huge impression in Civil War - even more so, arguably, than Spider-Man, thanks to the casting of Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, as well as the idea that he carries his own moral ideas that aren’t necessarily the same as Captain America’s or Iron Man’s.
It’s fairly early days for casting the Black Panther film, with filming set to begin early next year, so this is everything we know so far - along with a few extra faces we expect to turn up in the movie.
Chadwick Boseman is T’Challa/Black Panther
Introduced in Civil War, T’Challa is made Wakanda’s king after his Dad, T’Chaka, is killed by Helmut Zemo near the start of the film. At the end of that movie, he’s seen daring invaders to try and find their way into Wakanda, the technologically advanced nation first referenced in Age of Ultron. Boseman’s performance in Civil War was one of the best things in that film - particularly his final confrontation with Zemo. In his solo movie, Boseman’s T’Challa will deal with the political tensions inherent in ruling a nation like Wakanda.
Boseman has a five film deal with Marvel, making this his second appearance in the MCU. The solo movie is the last leading into Avengers: Infinity War in 2018, so it’s reasonable to assume he’ll appear in at least one of the next two Avengers movie, as well as a possible Black Panther sequel down the line.
Michael B Jordan is Erik Killmonger
Michael B Jordan is familiar to most audiences from the excellent Creed and the dreary Fantastic Four movie from Josh Trank, both released last year. In Black Panther, where he’s reunited with Creed director Coogler, he plays long-time villain Erik Killmonger, who’s previously challenged T’Challa’s rule in the comics.
“It was always something that I’ve wanted to do. To play something completely different than any other character that I’ve ever played before,” when asked about the role. No doubt joining the MCU is a safer guarantee of being in a good superhero movie than Fantastic Four was.
Danai Gurira is Okoye
Revealed on-stage at Comic Con in July, Danai Gurira plays Okoye, the head of Black Panther’s powerful bodyguards known as the Dora Milaje. Gurira is best known to audiences as playing Michonne in The Walking Dead. The Dora Milaje’s role in the film is a mystery - but there are clues to be found...
Lupita Nyong’o is Nakia
Nakia is another member of the Dora Milaje, played by The Force Awakens’ Lupita Nyong’o. When speaking about the film to Marvel.com, she did drop this suggestion about the film’s plot and the Dora Milaje’s role within it: “The story is that 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 Milaje to try to defeat the enemy.”
Sebastian Stan is Bucky?
Now on to a little speculation. Bucky was frozen in Wakanda at the end of Civil War until the scientists there can figure out a way to cure his programming - he’s a possible candidate for appearing in Black Panther, then, though doing so could rob the character of the spotlight in his own movie.
Martin Freeman is Everett Ross?
It’s widely expected that Martin Freeman will reappear as Everett Ross, as seen briefly in Civil War, and clearly cast with future movies in mind. Plus, he originates in the Black Panther comics so this is a safe bet, though one that’s yet to be confirmed.
Andy Serkis is Klaw?
Finally, this one might be a bit of a push, but Andy Serkis played the villain Klaw in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the character has plenty of links to Wakanda. Could he be next to join the film’s roster?