Marvel Studios continued to solidify their dominance of the box office with their Cinematic Universe in 2015, with Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Ant-Man defying accusations of peaking. Even the diversity of their casts is slowly but surely being addressed; but Anthony Mackie’s Falcon and Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch won’t be the only new faces in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War.
It’s no secret that Chadwick Boseman’s debut as T’Challa the Black Panther is what has most people excited for Civil War and that speculation as to who will take the mantle on the Panther’s own movie ran wild for months. That mantle has officially been passed down to Ryan Coogler, writer/director of Fruitvale Station and Creed, who will also be directing a “mostly Black cast,” according to his interview with Empire Magazine. Plot and casting details outside of Boseman’s Panther and Andy Serkis as villain Ulysses Klaw are still just out of arm’s reach, leaving a myriad of characters and casting options open. Here are five of our picks for characters/casting in what is arguably Marvel’s most anticipated movie.
Djimon Hounsou as T’Chaka
Yes, Djimon Hounsou is Korath The Pursuer in Guardians of the Galaxy and he also voiced the Panther in the 2010 BET animated series, but note-perfect casting would still be note-perfect casting. T’Chaka is Challa’s father, the previous Black Panther who was betrayed and killed by Klaw, which created the rivalry between Klaw and T’Challa. Hounsou has proven his versatility in roles both commanding and eerily ominous, and the role of T’Chaka would call for a nice balance between the two.
Shameik Moore as Azari
Even though Black Panther and Storm marrying in the movies is nothing more than a pipe dream thanks to Fox owning the movie rights to X-Men, T’Challa’s son Azari is still worth exploring. The son being groomed to become the next Black Panther after Challa and Shuri (more on her later) would be a perfect role for Shameik Moore after his great debut role in last year’s heavily slept on Dope.
Adepero Oduye as Shuri
Sister to T’Challa and the current Black Panther in the comics, it would be surprising to watch any sort of Black Panther adaptation and not see Shuri somewhere. We can imagine Pariah‘s Adepero Oduye bringing a combination of action and nuance to one of the most important of Wakanda’s elite.
Lupita Nyong’o as Monica Lynne
Ever since her breakout appearance in 12 Years A Slave, Lupita Nyong’o hasn’t made very many appearances onscreen. She’s a supporting player in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but she’s completely unrecognizable, a trend that won’t change until her role as Harriet Mutesi in The Queen Of Katwe. As T’Challa’s first love interest Monica Lynne, a singer who saved his life after a deadly battle with villain Killmonger, Lupita would have a chance to flex her acting muscles while looking like herself again.
Serena Williams as Queen Divine Justice
Queen Divine Justice, originally born Ce’Athauna Asira Davin, is the rightful queen of the Jabari tribe and former member of the Panther’s all-woman Dora Milaje (Adored Ones) personal guard. As she grows and learns her true origins, she left the guard to become the Queen of Jabari. Given her popularity and the fact that throwing movie roles at sports figures is still all the rage, Serena Williams making her acting debut as Divine Justice would be a welcome change of pace.