90 Percent of the Black Panther Cast will be African or African American


With reports this week that Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o are set join Chadwick Boseman in “Black Panther,” the 2018 Marvel film is clearly assembling an impressive cast. However, they may only be the tip of the iceberg.

“That will be among the best ensembles we’ve ever had,” Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige recently toldThe Empire Film Podcast, “and 90 percent of the cast is either African or African-American.”

Considering that Black Panther, Marvel Comics’ first black superhero, is the king of the technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda, Feige’s statement might seem obvious: Of course a majority of the actors will be African or African-American. However, it comes as Marvel addresses whitewashing accusationsin its casting of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One in “Doctor Strange,” DreamWorks faces similar criticisms for its remake of “Ghost in the Shell,” and Hollywood studios are under increased scrutiny for a lack of diversity in front of and behind the camera.

When it was pointed out in the interview that having a superhero film with an African character in the lead is “a huge step for Marvel,” Feige replied, “It’s a step that Marvel took many years ago in the comics as well, and it felt like it’s more than due time to do that in the movie.”

“Black Panther” is directed by Ryan Coogler (“Creed”), whom Feige called a “pretty astounding filmmaker,” from a script he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole. The film opens Feb. 16, 2018.

by Kevin Melrose




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