The Conversation: Who Should Play Marvel's Black Panther on the Big Screen?

The Conversation: Who Should Play Marvel's Black Panther on the Big Screen?

Jun 05, 2012

Earlier we posted the rumor, via Latino Review, that Marvel Studios is setting up a Black Panther movie as another standalone installment in the now astonishingly successful Avengers franchise. The truth of this is still not confirmed, but while we wait for Disney to issue official word (currently they're denying it), we can still have fun playing casting agent. And since the rumor immediately became a trending situation a lot of voices are lending their opinion to this one. 

Obviously there are some inappropriate suggestions out there, as well as some midly politically incorrect jokes, in part due to previous debate about the possibility of a non-white Spider-Man and complaints about Samuel L. Jackson playing Nick Fury. But those who are taking the idea seriously are going through both the most obvious and the most obscure black actors trying to come up with the right man for the job.

Some of the most popular choices are being deemed too old by others, while some younger possibilities that sound good include Chronicle's Michael B. Jordan and Attack the Block's John Boyega. Perhaps the perfect actor for the role isn't even being thought of. Maybe he'll be plucked out of nowhere and discovered. I have seen it presumed that this will be the case while supporting characters and a villain would bring more name recognition. Denzel Washington for T'Challah's father, for instance, has been posed by more than a few people. 


Who are people naming for the role of the Black Panther? Here's The Conversation heard around the Internet:

My money says Nate Parker from Red Tails. - El Mayimbe, Latino Review

David Oyelowo from Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Red Tails is my pick for T'Challa. Or his Red Tails co-star Nate Parker - Jim Vejvoda

Let’s face it: Michael K. Williams needs to be mentioned in these talks. - Nick Newman, The Film Stage

Personally, my vote still goes towards "Oz" and "Lost" veteran Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who spoke with us about the role back in 2009. - Josh Wigler, Splash Page

It's gotta be either Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje or Djimon Hounsou for the Black Panther. Idris Elba would be great, too. Levar Burton, hope you've been keeping fit, 'cause I wanna see you land [the] gig. - Charles Trotter

Gotta be Adewale. Djimon, Adewale, OR Chiwetel could be great as Black Panther, as could 50 more actors I'm not thinking of. The fact that there are too many cool black actors to play Black Panther tells me we need more movies about black heroes. - Scott Weinberg

Brian White? A guy named white playing a character named black is worth it. - Alex Spivey

Tyrese [or ] Michael Jai White should play Black Panther. Whoever doesn't get the role gets Luke Cage - Tyrone Dotcom

Michael Jai White for Black Panther. Or Keith David. Basically anyone who's played Spawn. - Jeremy Kirk

All I got is 3 words Michael Jai White. - G. Ward

Michael Jai White has to play the Black Panther. - Jabot

MJW would be good. - Ahmad Childress

Micheal Jai White or Djimon Honsou is my picks - Marcus Lex Luger

I would personally love to see Djimon Hounsou take on the part (he voiced the character in the BET animated series) - Eric Eisenberg, Cinema Blend

For the record, guys like Snipes, Djimon Hounsou, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje are too old, and Idris Elba is already part of the Thor franchise. - Kofi Outlaw, Screen Rant

Is Idris Elba not in the mix for Black Panther? Because that's the only casting I want to see. - Kevin Ketchum

Idris Elba needs to DEFINITELY be considered for it. - Dapo Gbangbalasa

I wouldn't be surprised if Marvel got Idris Elba to be Black Panther. Even though he was already Heimdall. Time to pull a Chris Evans. - Philip Broadway

Everyone's going to say Idris Elba, but I say Chiwetel Ejiofor. He's also my go-to black James Bond. - Jacob Hall

There's only one guy that immediately comes to mind that has both the physicality and the intelligence required for this part, and that is Serenity villain Chiwetel Ejiofor. - Ben Pearson, First Showing

Chiewetel Ejiofor would also be amazing! - Markus Welby

Chiwetel Ejiofor is a possibility, and he already has an in with Whedon, too. Maybe David Oyelowo? - Rob Hunter, Film School Rejects

[He] was looped into the Marvel Universe with Captain America, but after seeing him in Seeking a Friend, Derek Luke might be great. - Matt Patches

Derek Luke is playing Black Panther. So obvious. - Jasper Cresdee-Hyde

When I met ATTACK THE BLOCK's John Boyega last year, along with director Joe Cornish, I told him right then and there that he had better be ready to go after the role of T'Challa when (not if) Marvel did a movie. Based on a very wide grin, he seemed very familiar with the part. - Moisés Chiullan, Ain't It Cool News

My personal favorite — John Boyega. Seriously, f*ck off… the kid is perfect, and his ties to Joe Cornish and Edgar Wright just make it all the more natural. It’s obvious because it’s correct. - Renn Brown,

Fan support for casting Bale worked out very well for Batman. Let's see it work again for Joe Cornish and John Boyega re: Black Panther. - Aaron Morgan

Hey, Marvel? We've come to a consensus - John Boyega as T'Challa/Black Panther. You may begin. I do like Colin Salmon. That's not a name getting tossed around at all (but also not a B.O. draw in the least). Terry Crews? - John Gholson

John Jones, the UFC fighter, would fit perfectly - Callum Harrison

Confused why people are tossing names other than Michael B. Jordan out there for Black Panther. - Brian Collins

Michael B. Jordan for "Black Panther." Seems pretty easy, right? - Daniel Fienberg

Aldis Hodge for Black Panther. - Julie

Hopefully Michael Ealy makes the short list for Black Panther. - Casey Moore

Anthony Mackie, they better be calling you for the Black Panther movie!! You rocked it in Hurt Locker. - Dan

What about the Old Spice guy? - Dean Muhtadi II

They need to get the Old Spice guy to play Black Panther. - Precious Veal

T.I. hinted that he was asked to play a marvel super hero in an interview.... - Boosie's Hologram

Please don't let them cast a rapper or R&B singer as Black Panther. - Chris Wiltz

Can I start a campaign for Danny Pudi to play Black Panther? I like playing that Which Community Star Would Be Miscast As A Superhero game - Eric Vespe

I nominate Rudy Ray Moore for the lead role. - Chris Axl Carlin

Eddie Murphy ... and Eddie Murphy! - Eric D. Snider

Lena Dunham for Black Panther. - Filmcave

Chris Evans - The Creeper

Me! E-mail me the script and let me know when shooting starts so I can hit the gym. - Yung Yoda


Follow Christopher Campbell on Twitter (@thefilmcynic) to join The Conversation.


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