Right now, ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is reigning supreme, but come February, another Marvel superhero will be taking to the silver screen in his first solo movie, ‘Black Panther’. Directed by Ryan Coogler, the film stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, the newly crowned king of Wakanda. Boseman’s T’Challa made his film debut in 2016’s ‘Captain America: Civil War’, which helped set him up for his own adventure.
‘Civil War’ had an all-star cast, but ‘Black Panther’ also features one of the most illustrious casts in recent memory. Even with the spotlight on ‘Thor’, Marvel has unleashed a slew of dynamite new character posters that spotlight the major players in the upcoming film.
One can certainly see the Marvel “house style” at work here with most costumes retaining the armored-yet-athletic look of previous super suits. But the ornate African-style touches give ‘Black Panther’ a unique look, with beautiful ornate jewelry, tribal motifs and on M’Baku, fur which adds an organic touch. So while Black Panther and the rest of the cast fit easily into the overall visual aesthetic of the existing MCU, they also have a look all to themselves.
Check them out below:
First, we have Boseman’s T’Challa and a closeup look at his intricately detailed Vibranium claws, which we’ve already seen in use in ‘Civil War’.
Andy Serkis‘ Ulysses Klau actually beat T’Challa to the screen with a bit part in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’. In the comics, Klau (or Klaw rather) had his hand replaced with a cannon that fires sonic energy. That is teased in this image, which as you’ll see, is actually the worst of the new images. Somehow his prosthetic hand– something that exists in real life– looks faker than the more fantastic devices in other shots.
Next, we have Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, another character that popped up in ‘Civil War’. Ross was a major player in the ‘Black Panther’ comic book, so expect his role to be significantly larger in this film.
Then we have the newcomers:
Angela Bassett portrays T’Challa’s mother, Queen Ramonda.
Forest Whitaker appears as elder statesman and advisor Zuri.
Shuri is T’Challa’s sister and princess of Wakanda. At one point, she adopted the Black Panther guise and starred in the self-titled comic book series. She is played by Letitia Wright.
Even a superhero needs bodyguards. The Dora Milaje are an elite team of female warriors who help protect the King from possible assassins and terrorists. Lupita Nyong’o goes from playing a withered old CGI woman in the ‘Star Wars’ films to a young, physical ass-kicker in ‘Black Panther’ as Nakia, while ‘The Walking Dead’ ass-kicker Danai Gurira goes to play another ass-kicker Okoye. Gurira’s part is also rumored to appear in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’.
Also helping to keep the peace is W’Kabi, T’Challa’s head of security and best friend, played by Daniel Kaluuya.
Bring on the bad guys. Michael B. Jordan plays Erik Killmonger. It’s unclear what his role in the movie will be, but in the comics, he was an enemy to both Black Panther and Klaw.
Finally, Winston Duke portrays super strong M’Baku, a villain who, in the comics is known as Man-Ape, leader of the White Gorilla Cult.
In addition, Sterling K. Brown plays a character named N’Jobu who did not originate in the comics, so his nature is unknown. John Kani will reprise his role as King T’Chaka, T’Challa’s father who was seen murdered in ‘Civil War’ which drew Black Panther into the battle between super factions.
Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.
‘Black Panther’ claws its way into theaters on February 16, 2018.