The Black Panther just made his cinematic debut last week in Captain America: Civil War, and the casting news for the solo Black Panther film continues to be quite impressive. Creed director Ryan Coogler will be reuniting with Michael B. Jordan, as The Hollywood Reporter reveals the Fantastic Four star is joining Marvel’s Black Panther. All three of the leads from Creed — Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, and Tessa Thompson — now all have roles within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Stallone is said to have a role in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Thompson will be in Thor: Ragnarok.
Michael B. Jordan’s role in the movie hasn’t been revealed, but THR believes that he could possibly be playing a villain. Heroic Hollywood writer Shawn Madden suggests a possibility of Jordan being Erik Killmonger, who was a Black Panther villain who appeared very early on in the character’s publication history. Though no official statement regarding Jordan’s casting has been announced from Marvel. But with this bit of casting news, it further solidifies the idea that Marvel Studios likes to keep it in the family.
Joe and Anthony Russo, who directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier as well as Civil War, are going to be producing The Thomas Crown Affair remake — which stars Michael B. Jordan. Black Panther‘s cast now having Jordan is also a bit of a surprise, considering the actor’s last superhero role as Johnny Storm in Fox’s Fantastic Four reboot. The movie bombed and was critically panned, but Jordan himself admitted that he wasn’t going to rule out the possibility of doing another comic book/superhero film. Joining this film would also be a departure for Jordan if he will indeed be playing a villain, as opposed to a hero or good guy.
In addition to Michael, Lupita Nyong’o is also currently in talks to star in the film as well, and her role is also unknown, but she could possibly be in talks to join as Black Panther/T’Challa’s love interest. Monica Lynne was the character’s first love interest in the comics, after Black Panther saved her from drowning, and she is American. Disney seems to be quite fond of the 12 Years a Slave actress, considering she has the role of Maz Kanata in their new Star Wars trilogy, as well as voice acting in The Jungle Book, and will be playing the mother of a Ugandan chess prodigy in Disney’s The Queen of Katwe.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has already given Ryan Coogler praise for his directorial effort with Creed, and stated just how much input Coogler had on the character of T’Challa.
“I think he’ll bring all of that [to the film]. He’s already been involved for some months now,” Feige told SlashFilm. “We’ve been working with him on the story. He watched early cuts of this film [Captain America: Civil War], and he gave very good feedback about Black Panther. I just think he’s one of the best filmmakers today. Creed, I think, was my favorite movie last year.”
Feige also commented on how Black Panther is different from the other heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and how that will be reflected in his solo film in 2018.
“In his future movie, he’s embracing the mantle he’s inherited, but he’s not the kind of king that sits on a throne and just passively rules. When you’re dealing with that level of leadership, you’re constantly faced with these difficult choices. Laying the groundwork for that morality over the course of this movie going into that one was important.”
Captain America: Civil War is currently in theaters. Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther is scheduled to be released in February, 2018.
[Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]