The Marvel Cinematic Universe is built on the backs of many outstanding movies. The franchise has continuously produced blockbuster films that have enjoyed critical and commercial success. On February 16, 2018, Marvel released Black Panther to the world to overwhelming success. The film, which saw a flurry of hype and doubt ahead of its release due to its predominantly black cast, was seen as a game-changing opportunity for the studio to diversify its narratives.
Black Panther is expected to be more than just a movie and it proved that when it hit theater screens. Although critical and box office success is synonymous with the Marvel franchise, Black Panther has taken on a whole new level – it’s become a cultural movement.
The film’s reception was nothing short of phenomenal and it quickly skyrocketed breaking multiple records, ending its theatrical career as the highest-grossing solo superhero film and one of the of the ten highest-grossing films in the world.
The story of Black Panther is a story of self-realization. It tells the story of a man who seeks to know his heritage and determine what kind of person he wants to be. It tells the story of Wakanda, a fictional African country with Vibranium, a fictional rare and precious metal mined from a meteorite that arrived in the country thousands of years ago.
The land consists of five tribes, led by a warrior who ingests a heart-shaped herb that gives anyone who drinks it superhuman abilities. Wakanda had used Vibranium metal and its many derivatives to perfect themselves technologically and isolate themselves from the rest of the world.
T’Challa, who was the current leader of Wakanda in the film, had recently lost his father to a bomb explosion. He learns of his father’s crime after encountering an unidentified Wakandan while on a mission to retrieve stolen Vibranium from Ulysses Kalue.
He is forced to fight to keep his throne as the ruler of the Wakandan people and decides if he wants to make his father’s mistakes or if he does better. During his journey, he is supported by his love interest and spy Wakandan – Nakia, his sister – Shuri and his mother – Ramonda. He is forced to make alliances with his rivals and develop a more inclusive Wakanda.
Black Panther Cast
Black Panther features a black cast. Movie stars established actors and newcomers alike. Notable characters in the film include T’Challa, Erik Killmonger, Nakia, Okoye, W’kabi, Shuri, Everett Ross, Zuri, Ulysses Klaue. Here’s a look at the characters and the actors who played them.
T’Challa / Black Panther – Chadwick Boseman
Chadwick Boseman plays T’Challa in Black Panther. Chadwick, who starred in Captain America: Civil War, put on an admirable performance as the leader of the fictional country. He reportedly signed a five-movie deal with Marvel Studios. Chadwick Boseman said he studied African figures such as Nelson Mandela and Fela Kuti. He has also twice visited South Africa, where the focus is on the accent of the fictional country.
Erick Killmonger – Michael B. Jordan
Michael B. Jordan, who landed several famous movie roles before Black Panther, plays the villain in this epic story. The actor, whose motivations are considered extreme but understandable, is preparing for the role by working with his Creed film crew.
Nakia – Lupita Nyongo’o
Lupita is one of the few film actors with pure African roots. Nakia plays an undercover spy and T’Challa’s love interest. For the film, the actress learned Hausa and trained in martial arts. She signed on to appear in other Black Panther films.
Okoye – Danai Gurira
Danai Gurira will play the role of Okoye, leader of Dora Milaje, an all-female team of Special Forces members and responsible for T’Challa’s security. Although she has an acting past as Michonne in The Walking Dead , Black Panther director Ryan Coogler says she was cast for her performance in Mother of George.
Ramonda – Angela Bassett
Veteran actress, Angela Bassett, plays Ramonda, T’Chaka’s widow and T’Challa’s mother. She serves as an advisor to the young king and helps him during Eric Killmonger’s coup.
Winston is among the other cast members. Duke who plays M’Baku, Forest Whittaker who plays Zuri, Martin Freeman who plays Everett K. Ross, Daniel Kaluuya who plays W’Kabi and Andy Serkis who plays Ulysses Klaue. Newcomer Letitia Wright played Shuri and is set to appear in other films in the franchise.
Cast Member Salaries
Marvel Studios isn’t exactly the most thrifty of movie studios, however, it was known to pay average to low salaries for the first movie of its new franchises. Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evans earned relatively modest salaries for the first films in their respective franchises, before the success of their films brought them big paydays in subsequent films.
The same goes for the cast of Black Panther. Chadwick Boseman and Michael Jordan have their salaries for the film as public information, each earning $3 million and $1 million respectively. The salaries of the other cast members are not known, but the two veterans, Forest Whittaker and Angela Bassett, are expected to have been well paid due to their backgrounds in the industry.
Where are the cast members now?
Chadwick Boseman is set to appear in Avengers 4, and he’s currently working on 17 decks. Michael B. Jordan is currently working on a sequel to his hit movie, Creed. Lupita Nyong’o has starred in other popular projects such as Star Wars and she is expected to make another appearance in the mega-franchise in 2019.
Danai Gurira currently plays Michonne in The Walking Dead; she is also writing the script for the miniseries adaptation of Americanah, based on a novel by Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie. Angela Bassett’s latest project is a voice role in Bumblebee and she is due to appear in a movie, Other in 2019.
Forest Whittaker is set to star in Finding Steve McQueen and City of Lies, while Winston Duke is set to star in Jordan Peele’s highly anticipated sophomore directing project We, Avengers 4 and Wonderland. Speaking of highly anticipated projects, Daniel Kaluuya will next be seen on the big screen in Widows, one of the most anticipated films of 2018.