Something about the efficient Marvel Method for filmmaking involves long, drawn out casting announcements.
What could it be? Surely it’s better for a movie to have all its actors nailed down before filming starts, so the only logical reason for dripfeeding us these announcements must be to keep the subject relevant, and to generate headlines.
If so, then well done Marvel, you’ve done it again.
The Black Panther movie, which begins filming at some point in the coming weeks, will feature Sterling K Brown as a new character, N’Jobu.
Sterling K Brown is not an inconsequential grab for Black Panther—this isn’t like with Spider-Man: Homecoming where there seemed to be an announcement of a newbie teenager joining the cast every other week.
Brown has an Emmy for his work on The People V OJ Simpson and has even appeared on Supernatural, which is of course the dream to which any actor who wants to spend the rest of his life signing autographs for teenage girls aspires.
His character, though, is a little less clear. N’Jobu isn’t a familiar name from Black Panther comics, and Marvel has only described him as someone from T’Challa’s past.
This probably means that “N’Jobu” is actually a codename of sorts. Brown is probably actually playing a far more relevant and important character, that Marvel doesn’t want to reveal yet because of the danger of spoilers for the story.
That’s right, there’s only one possible explanation: Sterling K Brown is playing Mary Jane Watson!
Of course, with Black Panther beginning principle photography soon, there’s every chance we’ll be getting more news on how the movie fits together at a later date (plus some blurry paparazzi photos of Brown in a red wig, if we’re lucky).
With this film, though, it seems like Marvel is pulling out all the stops to breathe both diversity, and celebrated, respected acting talent, into their Phase Three movies.
Heck, they’ve got Forest Whitaker, and he doesn’t just do any of movie!
…Unless you tell him he’s playing a crazy cyborg, in which case he’ll jump at the chance.
Regardless of what roles all of these actors eventually play (in most cases it’s completely arbitrary, as the onus is more on featuring famous actors in bit parts than on giving us legitimate comic book characters on the big screen), there’s a good chance this movie will turn out great.
Why? Because, as Civil War has taught us, Black Panther is actually cooler than Spider-Man.
If that’s not what you took away from the movie, you didn’t watch it closely enough. Screw Doctor Strange, T’Challa is the new Tony Stark in terms of making everything he touches far more awesome.