Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Sony Hack Reveals the Insufferable Whiteness of Hollywood Sony Hack Reveals the Insufferable Whiteness of Hollywood '106 & PARK' Says Goodbye Today, Dec 19 at 6pm, w/ Live, 2-hour, Star-Studded Finale! '106 & PARK' Says Goodbye Today, Dec 19 at 6pm, w/ Live, 2-hour, Star-Studded Finale! First Image of Queen Latifah as Bessie Smith in Upcoming HBO Biopic First Image of Queen Latifah as Bessie Smith in Upcoming HBO Biopic The Gift That Keeps on Giving - Leaked Sony Email Challenges Denzel Washington's Overseas Box Office Appeal The Gift That Keeps on Giving - Leaked Sony Email Challenges Denzel Washington's Overseas Box Office Appeal Backlash Against New VH1 Series 'Sorority Sisters' Backlash Against New VH1 Series 'Sorority Sisters' Tessa Thompson Books Female Lead Role in Ryan Coogler's 'Creed' Opposite Michael B. Jordan Tessa Thompson Books Female Lead Role in Ryan Coogler's 'Creed' Opposite Michael B. Jordan Why Aren’t We Talking About the Sexual Assault in 'Beyond the Lights'? Why Aren’t We Talking About the Sexual Assault in 'Beyond the Lights'? Page to Screen Possibilities for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 'Americanah' (Lupita Nyong'o, David Oyelowo Starring) Page to Screen Possibilities for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 'Americanah' (Lupita Nyong'o, David Oyelowo Starring) David Oyelowo Joins Lupita Nyong’o in 'Americanah' Film Adaptation David Oyelowo Joins Lupita Nyong’o in 'Americanah' Film Adaptation Leaked Sony Emails Reveal Interest in Destiny's Child Biopic + Immersive Kanye West Feature Film Experience Leaked Sony Emails Reveal Interest in Destiny's Child Biopic + Immersive Kanye West Feature Film Experience Weekend B.O. Dec. 12-14 (So How’s That Boycott Working for Ya?) Weekend B.O. Dec. 12-14 (So How’s That Boycott Working for Ya?) What Sony Pictures Chief Amy Pascal Should Do if She Sincerely Wants to Make Amends What Sony Pictures Chief Amy Pascal Should Do if She Sincerely Wants to Make Amends Ava DuVernay Earns Her Way Into the History Books - First Black Woman Director to Be Nominated for a Golden Globe Award Ava DuVernay Earns Her Way Into the History Books - First Black Woman Director to Be Nominated for a Golden Globe Award Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means My MoviePass Experience - What Works & What Could Be Improved (The Movie Theater Subscription Service) My MoviePass Experience - What Works & What Could Be Improved (The Movie Theater Subscription Service) Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

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

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act January 27, 2014 at 1:20PM

Is There A *Name* Actor Who Could Convincingly Play Black Panther In A Movie? You Decide
47
black panther

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 Steel... PLEASE!

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.

This article is related to: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Djimon Hounsou


Shadow & ActNewsletter