Is There A *Name* Actor Who Could Convincingly Play Black Panther In A Movie? You Decide

Is There A *Name* Actor Who Could Convincingly Play Black Panther In A Movie? You Decide

I say, no.

With the ongoing chatter about Marvel Studios’ plans for a Black Panther movie on its slate (most recently, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, revealed in an interview with BlackTree TV that a Black Panther movie is “absolutely in development“), the obvious question that’s been on most minds is, just who should play the superhero from the fictional African nation of Wakanda

I spent some of the morning browsing through message boards and other sites, looking over lists of suggested actors, from writers and commenters – lists that range from the thoughtful, to the ridunkulous. Seriously, Will Smith as Black Panther? Really? And as much as I like John Boyega, I just can’t picture him in the part; nor Anthony Mackie, Isaiah Mustafa, Djimon Hounsou (a fan favorite – his name turned up on several lists; he’s too old at this point, to play the young Prince of Wakanda), not even Idris Elba, another fan favorite for the part. 

Assuming Marvel will start from the beginning, and go with a younger T’Challa, I imagine an actor in his mid to late 20s, or early 30s; and with that, immediately, the list of available actors – specifically *known* actors who could play the part – decreases dramatically; partly because there just aren’t many of them in the first place, who fit that criteria. Unless the studio chooses popularity over ability, and looks beyond Actors (capital “A” intentional), and considers musicians who’ve segued into acting. And even then, it’s a short list.

There are a few other things to take into consideration – height, size (or at least the ability to create size), and being believable with the accent – not just some generic *African* tongue that will likely only elicit laughter from audiences.

Some fans are insisting that the actor be African – even if they aren’t currently living within the continent; so naturally, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s name has also been mentioned, as have Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and David Oyelowo – all 3 Nigerians originally, living in the UK.

There were a few interesting choices I didn’t even think about, that I’ve read from others, including Aldis Hodge, Chadwick BosemanMehcad Brooks, and Nate Parker

Others suggested that Marvel look outside the world of acting, and at WWE Ghanaian star Kofi Kingston for example, and even MMA fighter Rampage, who has done some acting himself.

Who else? Tyrese’s name was mentioned, as was Edi Gathegi, Derek Luke, Wesley Snipes, and others; but really, most lists I found had some combination of the names mentioned here; And others, as I noted, just didn’t make any sense to me at all.

It’s like we’re playing darts or something; line up every black actor working today, throw in some rappers, wrestlers, fighters, and let’s see which one we can make stick.

What do I think? I’m having a really challenging time coming up with anyone to be frank, even after thinking about it since last night. What I do know is that I’d prefer that the studio went with an Actor (the capital “A” is intentional), to give credibility to the project. They should take it very seriously, just as the WB has done with the Christopher Nolan era of Batman movies. So please no repeat of SteelPLEASE!

Cast an Actor, not necessarily a star. I used to lean towards Chiwetel, more-so than any of the other popular choices, when talk began years ago about the potential for a Black Panther movie; He’s an Actor, and, with some training, could certainly be whipped into proper physical shape for the role. I felt he could be convincing, and his casting would give the movie the right kind of credibility.

However, I’m not so sure anymore. 

And with that, as I’ve said several times in the past, I’d actually go with an unknown; less baggage. Go with an unknown, and then cast *name* actors around him to fill the supporting roles.

For example, if the chosen villain for the movie is Black Panther’s archenemy Ulysses Klaw, they could cast a *name* actor in that part; There are lots of “A”-list white actors to choose from there certainly.

I like what Brian Helgeland did with his Jackie Robinson biopic (42); I think many would have expected him to cast an actor with some mainstream popularity/awareness, but he cast Chadwick Boseman instead, who, for all intents and purposes, was a relative *unknown* when he landed the role, even though he’s certainly was not new to the game. And then he cast Harrison Ford, a very-well-known white actor, as Branch Rickey.

But what do you folks think? Dig in with your general thoughts, and/or suggestions.

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Comments

Casey

Michael Jai white anyone?

I Am Not Hill Harper

Hill Harper!

blackice

Micheal Jai White hands down!!! His physicalness and don't forget his extensive background in martial arts is superlative this role is made for him!!!

Johnfol

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje , is the best pick for this role or at least another important role in this movie.

Please Marvel don't make this movie like a teenager movie, you did not make Bat man like that… it needs to be grand, powerful and raw,… Adewale is perfect for Black Panther!

Al

They should cast me. I am an unknown, but able, actor who wants to be recognized as an Actor!

Dwayne

Morris Chestnut has the muscle for it and he is a pretty good actor. But I'm just not sure he could carry a movie like this. People are used to seeing him in romantic roles.

Ibrahim

Michael Jai White

Keesha

Tika sumpter or the dark skin female from that reality show Totally Divas about the women in the WWE could revamp the the role of Storm.

mombasa

Zoinks! In creating this list of "names", what this piece is really saying is we need some new "names".

bbb

Terry Crews

khris

Morris Chestnut! He has the body and women love him.

Aaron

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is my choice since he began his campaign for the role.

Andrew

I agree Charles Rex Baker would be great for the role
He's an up and coming actor that's causing a few waves , check him
Out on IMDb ( rextheflexbaker ) and on Facebook also follow
Him on twitter .

Charles

Up and coming Actor.. Physical traits, good looks, Can handle Stunts and one tough cookie!
Rex Baker. He's on IMDB,

DEBBIE

I saw Yann Gael on stage in Guadelupe. The play was about the life of Clown Chocolate. Omar Sy landed in the part for the film, shooting this year. Unfair for Yann. He's great…

CeeVee

No love for Dayo Okeniyi on this?

Screamwriter

No one's mentioned it yet, but T'Challa has a younger sister, Shuri. She eventually becomes the Black Panther and ruler of Wakanda. I'm not sure Marvel is willing to go down the shaky female-driven superhero route (maybe as an addition to The Avengers), but if they did… there's a certain 2014 Academy Award Nominee who'd be a perfect fit.

Ian

Sinqua Walls

Donella

I had not thought past Chiwetel Ejiofer.

Julien

Yann Gael, a french black actor with good physique, he's done theater mostly.
He's really moving
And French is à la mode

ashley

From the show "The Wire" on HBO
Jamie Hector or Kwame Patterson

And if you dont know the show or who they are look them up great young unknown talent.

Dirk Thomas

Michael Jai White

namor521

michael jai carter

Grizz

It has to be an unknown actor that fits the role supported by a stellar cast. That is the winning formula.

leelee

I am going to cross my fingers and hope it is not Tyrese. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje would have been my choice ten or more years ago.

Vichus

Yes on Chiwetel Ejiofor. He's great, and he's always been a good choice for me. Would they be looking to have a young or older Black Panther in a film?

Kurskij

Another one: Laz Alonso. Physique, looks, presence and decent acting chops.

He is pushing 40 though.

Tyler

Yes. There are only two choices in my mind: Nelsan Ellis and David Oyelowo. Nelsan is my first choice (watch him in Veronica Mars Season 3 as a former child soldier and you'll understand what I mean).

Michael B. Jordan makes commercial sense, but I think we need someone who is more fearsome and commanding a presence. Not sure he has that. John Boyega and Nathan Stewart-James are too young, I think (though if the film takes another 5 years or so to make, i'd put them on my runner-up list, with a slight preference for Boyega because he has some gravity and depth to him).

Kurskij

Michael B. Jordan if he pulls a chrisevans (he is in Fantastic Four reboot, right?).

Otherwise – Kevin Hart could really… elevate it.

Yvette

Sinqua Walls – hands down.

jim

imagine getting Bakhad Abdi for Black Panther. Get him working out a bit and develop a character beyond his somali pirate. That would be interesting

Rick

I don't think you have to necessarily limit yourself to just young(er) actors. Black Panther, like Reed Richards, was introduced very young but has carried a certain maturity with them that casting older actors wouldn't seem unreal. That might nix an origin story for Black Panther, but there are other stories to tell.

With Michael Douglas playing Hank Pym (a casting decision i am definitely excited about) the argument "Djimon Honsou is too old" kind of goes out the window.

To throw a new name out there though, what about Chris Chalk from The Newsroom and Homeland. He might be a little short for a superhero, but he was a convincing threat in Homeland.

Tamika LaShelle

I like the idea of David Oyelowo in the role… it would be nice to see him spread his wings…. but I question his height. John Boyega would be nice too…. but I think the real Black Panther has yet to be found… or is still very wet behind the ears when it comes to the big screen like Sinqua Walls.

Love is… TL

Elias

AAA has the physicality, unpredictability and the edge. He was born for this role and he needs to step up and do a screen test to convince the studio.

Victor B

If I had the power to cast it. I would cast Mike Colter (Men in Black 3).

Tom Haverford

I like the idea of John Boyega in the part, but I think the best candidate is Sinqua Walls. He's been on a bunch of tv stuff already, so he's somewhat recognizable, and he's got the physique and charm to pull off a superhero leading role. He deserves to be an A-lister too, so it's a win all around.

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