Black Panther picks up where the conflict in Captain America: Civil War left off, with King T’Challa returning to Wakanda, ready to rule. But there are new dangers ahead and the young monarch must team up with CIA agent Everett K. Ross and the Dora Milaje, Wakanda’s special forces, to prevent two enemies from bringing down the kingdom.
We’ll have to wait until 12th February before we get a proper look at Black Panther. But until then, here’s everything you need to know about the cast and characters of the latest superhero film to fly onto our screens.
T’Challa/ Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)
Chadwick Boseman, Getty Images, KP
T’Challa is the King of fictional African nation Wakanda, who gains enhanced strength and senses and becomes his people’s traditional protector (The Black Panther) after eating the ‘Heart-Shaped Herb’ and donning his technologically-advanced battle suit. How will he cope when enemies threaten his kingdom?
Who is Chadwick Boseman?
Marvel fans will recognise Boseman. He’s played T’Challa before in Captain America: Civil War and also portrayed god of waiting and wisdom, Thoth, in fantasy action film Gods of Egypt in 2016. But while much of his back catalogue is action-based, there’s a more soulful side to Boseman – he played James Brown in the 2014 biopic Get on Up.
Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan)
Erik is a soldier who seeks to overthrow T’Challa. He thinks he would do a better job at running the kingdom, but will he be given the chance to?
Michael B. Jordan, Getty Images, KP
Who is Michael B. Jordan?
Best known for his portrayal of Johnny Storm, the Human Torch. in Fantastic Four (2015), Jordan is no stranger to an action-adventure flick. But he’s a versatile actor, taking a starring role alongside Zac Efron in rom-com That Awkward Moment (2014) and playing boxer Adonis Johnson, who is training with Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stalone), in the Rocky sequel film Creed (2015).
Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o)
T’Challa’s ex-girlfriend Nakia helps to protect the kingdom against its adversaries as well as hoping those living in less fortunate nations.
Lupita Nyong’o, Getty Images, KP
Who is Lupita Nyong’o?
Lupita Nyong’o broke onto the scene with her role as Patsey in Steve McQueen’s historical drama 12 Years a Slave (2013), a performance which landed her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and catapulted her to fame. Since then, she’s appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015, and in the sequel, The Last Jedi in 2017, as Maz Kanata, a CGI pirate and smuggler.
Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman)
Everett is a member of the CIA and an ally of The Black Panther.
Martin Freeman, Getty Images, KP
Who is Martin Freeman?
It would be surprising to own a television and not have had Martin Freeman appear on it at some point. As Tim Canterbury in the sitcom mockumentary The Office he shot to notoriety in 2001. Since then, he has starred alongside Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr John. Watson in Sherlock, appearing in four series since 2010. He is no stranger to film, either. He played John in ensemble rom-com Love Actually in 2003 and starred as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit film series (2012-2014), amongst other roles. This will be the second time he plays Everett K. Ross after popping up in Captain America: Civil War in 2016.
W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya)
W’Kabi is T’Challa’s best friend, and head of security in Wakanda. But he may find that there are dangers that even the King cannot protect him from.
Daniel Kaluuya,Getty Images, KP
Who is Daniel Kaluuya?
Daniel Kaluuya is fast becoming a big star. His performance as Chris Washington in 2017’s race motivated horror film Get Out has led him to be nominated for countless awards, while his TV performances in Skins (2007-2009) and Black Mirror (2011) have built him a loyal fanbase. And 2018 is set to be a big year for him. He will appear in Steve McQueen’s heist thriller film, Widows, in November this year.
Ulysses Klaue/ Klaw (Andy Serkis)
Klaue is an outsider. A gangster and a black-market arms dealer, he is against T’Challah and seeks to undermine him. He is also trying to develop technology, using materials only available in the Wakanda kingdom. Will he succeed?
Andy Serkis, Getty Images, KP
Who is Andy Serkis?
Serkis is no stranger to playing Ulysses Klaue – he appeared as the character in Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015. This will also not be the first time that Serkis has starred alongside Lupita Nyong’o and Martin Freeman. He joined the former in Star War’s films The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, and played Gollum in the Hobbit films with the latter, a role he first took on in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. More recently, Serkis has moved into directing, working on Breathe – starring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy – released late last year. Next, he’ll be behind the camera for Mowgli – based on the Jungle Book and due for release this October.
Ramonda (Angela Bassett)
Ramonda is T’Challah’s mother and close advisor. How will she help him protect his nation?
Angela Bassett, Getty Images, KP
Who is Angela Bassett?
Angela Bassett is best know for portraying real women from history. This includes one of her earlier roles as Tina Turner in the biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It? (1993) and her portrayal of the civil rights activist and wife of Malcolm X, Betty Shabazz, in 1992. In more recent years she has had roles in the action thriller Olympus Has Fallen (2013) alongside Morgan Freeman and will appear in Mission Impossible 6 which is currently being filmed.
Zuri (Forest Whitaker)
Zuri is an elder statesman, and the keeper of the Heart-Shaped Herb, the plant that gives T’Challah his powers.
Forest Whitaker, Getty Images, KP
Who is Forest Whitaker?
Whitaker’s best known role in film is as President of Uganda, Idi Amin, in the historical drama, The Last King of Scotland in 2006 – a performance which won him an Oscar. He has also had number of television roles. He played Lieutenant Jon Kavanaugh in series five and six of the award winning television series, the Shield (2006-2007), for which he won the Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Shuri (Letitia Wright)
A skilled martial artist with super-strength, Shuri is T’Challa’s sister and the princess of Wakanda who is in charge of designing new technology for the kingdom.
Letitia Wright, Getty Images, KP
Who is Letitia Wright?
Letitia Wright has starred in many popular television shows. From appearances in Holby City and Doctor Who, to her latest performance in Black Mirror episode, Black Museum, her future looks bright. And there is a lot in store for her in 2018. She will appear in four films in total: Black Panther, The Commuter, Ready Player One, and Avengers: Infinity War.
N’Jobu (Sterling K. Brown)
N’jobu is a figure from Wakandan past. Not much is known about the character, as he is not in any existing Black Panther comics. So, the effect he will have on the Wakanda kingdom is yet to be seen.
Sterling K. Brown, Getty Images, KP
Who is Sterling K. Brown?
Emmy Award winning actor Sterling K. Brown currently stars as Randall Pearson in NBC’s Golden Globe nominated drama comedy ensemble series, This is Us. If you haven’t seen him in that, it’s likely that you caught him in critically acclaimed The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, in which he played prosecution lawyer, Christopher Darden.
Okeye (Danai Gurira)
Okeye is the head of the Dora Milaje, an all-female special forces team that protects the Kingdom through meticulous intel and well-honed fighting skills.
Danai Gurira, Getty Images, KP
Who is Danai Gurira?
She is best known for her current role as Michonne in the TV horror drama, The Walking Dead, but Danai Gurira has also appeared in episodes of Law & Order and Lie to Me. Behind the scenes, she has written the Tony Award-winning play, Eclipsed, about the second Liberian Civil War. Lupita Nyong’o had a starring role in the production, so Black Panther will not be their first time working together.
King T’Chaka (John Kani)
King T’Chaka was the King of Wakanda, a role T’Challah must now live up to.
John Kani, Getty Images, KP
Who is John Kani?
John Kani is best known for his work on stage, behind the curtain. He has written and directed a number of plays throughout his career which have had critical acclaim and been performed all over the world. He has also appeared in a number of films, such as The Ghost and the Darkness, in 1996, a historical thriller about two lions who are on the loose. He previously played T’Chaka in Captain America: Civil War.
M’Baku (Winston Duke)
A ruthless warrior, M’Baku leads the Jabari, a gorilla-worshipping tribe who are against T’Challa becoming the new king. How will he fare in his plans to usurp him?
Winston Duke, Getty Images, KP
Who is Winston Duke?
Winston Duke has appeared in TV shows Modern Family and Law & Order. Black Panther marks his first appearance in film.