After Civil War, most everyone agreed that the standout performance in the film was Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther (it's okay if you don't agree; I'm comfortable with you being wrong). Since Civil War, Black Panther has become one of the most hotly anticipated Marvel movies, and with rumors of an all-black cast, it's sure to be one of the most groundbreaking films of the genre. The latest news is that cinematic heavy hitters Lupita Nyong'o and Michael B. Jordan have signed onto the film so who could they be playing? Seems pretty obvious to me:
Lupita: Monica Lynne/Michael: Erik Killmonger
BRANDY: T'Challa's two main loves were Ororo Munroe and Monica Lynne. While I would love to see what Nyong'o does in the role of Storm, Marvel getting the rights back for that character seems unlikely, so that leads me to my second choice: Monica Lynne, the American musician T'Challa meets while hanging with the Avengers. This fits my "Erik Killmonger" theory below, because after being rescued by Erik, she was used as a pawn between Killmonger and T'Challa for what seemed like a long time. Nyong'o has the grace and presence of a performer, so she'd be an easy sell as a singer.
As for Michael, Erik Killmonger—originally a Wakandan warrior named N’Jadaka, whose father was exiled for being forced to work for Ulysses Klaw—is a sympathetic character, less of a Big Bad Evil than a complicated character out for vengeance. Jordan is incredibly charismatic, so I'd love to see him as a more justifiable villain. What do you think, Steve? Am I onto something?
STEVE: Yes and no. I initially thought Lupita would be playing Monica Lynne too, but why not cast a singer in that role? Also, I love MBJ, but he's a little scrawny for Killmonger. Were it Michael Jai White, I'd say you were on to something. Here's what I think...
Lupita: Okoye/Michael: Achebe
STEVE: Alright, so let's presume that Lupita isn't playing the token love interest. Making her the most famous member of T'Challa's Dora Milaje elite female fighting force makes the most sense. Okoye was not viewed by T'Challa as "wife material," but he recognized how handy her special skill set was and kept her as a close ally. As far as Michael goes, while I think he was ridiculous in the comics, the character of Achebe could be a menacing villain in the right hands. Achebe was a Yale graduate who returned to Wakanda posing as a refugee, and orchestrated a crisis that sent T'Challa out of Wakanda long enough for Achebe to pull a coup d'etat and take over the country. Considering how much imbalance there's likely to be in Wakanda following the death of T'Chaka, Achebe might be an interesting character to have slide in there and try to take over. What do you think, Brandy? Too obscure?
BRANDY: Actually, I like the idea of Lupita as one of the Dora Milaje, so I'm on board. In fact, if she doesn't play Okoye, I could see Nyong'o as...
Lupita: Malice/Michael: White Wolf
BRANDY: I see a mutiny team-up on this one- both are scorned by T'Challa—Malice as one of the Dora Milaje (she was formerly known as Nakia) who was dismissed by T'Challa after he realized how dangerously obsessed she was with him, and White Wolf as the adoptive brother of T'Challa who resents T'Challa and blames him for T'Chaka's death. Wakanda has been established as such a strong, almost impenetrable country that I think inside forces have a better chance of standing a credible threat in a film than an outside one. What o you think, Steve? Am I off base here?
STEVE: I love the White Wolf angle for sure, and further love the notion of him teaming up with Malice, but I just don't see them going three villains deep, presuming Klaw is the big bad. How's this grab you?
Lupita: Shuri/Michael: M'Baku (Man-Ape)
STEVE: I know she's dead in the comics, but seeing Lupita play T'Challa's sister Shuri would be a ton of fun. A big theme in Phase Three seems to be team-ups, so why not have T'Challa team up with his kid sister to take down Man-Ape? Yeah, they'll probably have to change the name of the character just based on the internet's racist reaction to Jordan being cast as Johnny Storm, but the character of M'Baku is a truly intriguing villain. Having rejected his old friend T'Challa's embracing of advanced technology, and particularly his attitude toward Wakanda's vibranium supply, M'Baku gathers likeminded people to join him in a tribalism movement. It's a cool storyline, but one that might not make for the best possible first film. But a guy can dream, can't he? You got anything else Brandy? I can hardly see my way through all the obscurity in here.
BRANDY: Man-Ape might end up not being the best choice politically. I don't have much left, so I'll end this on:
Jordan: Stilt-Man/Nyong'O: Lady Stilt-Man.
BRANDY: Because fuck it, why not Stilt-Man?
STEVE: Best funeral in all of Marvel Comics history, though.