Potential spoilers for the solo Black Panther film will follow:Spider-Man may have initially grabbed all of the attention in the Captain America: Civil War trailer, but Chadwick Boseman’s portrayal of the Black Panther was undoubtedly one of the highlights of an already impressive cast.In recent weeks, anticipation for Ryan Coogler’s take on the Black Panther film has continued to build, with confirmation that Michael B. Jordan has officially joined the team and Lupita Nyong’o is set to follow close behind.
The hype machine surrounding the Black Panther cast continues to work into overdrive this week amidst rumours that John Boyega has followed in Nyong’o’s footsteps, trading in Finn’s lightsaber for a role in the MCU.
Boyega means business.
While Boyega’s involvement in the cast of Black Panther is still a rumour at this point, there’s a strong chance that a confirmation from Marvel could arrive any day now, so jump ahead of the crowd and join us as we take a look at five characters that Boyega could play in Coogler’s Black Panther movie.
1. White Wolf
Literally the same costume, but white.
Marvel loves to select villains who act as a moral counterpoint to the central hero, a doppleganger who reveals what could have happened if our protagonist had chosen a darker path.If this trend continues, then it’s likely that T’Challa’s adopted elder brother Hunter could feature in Black Panther, either as a central villain or in a smaller role that will be expanded upon at a later date.
Via Marvel Studios
Boyega is known primarily for heroic roles at this point, but the White Wolf’s cold, methodical approach to assassinating his victims could show another side to the charismatic actor, expanding his repertoire with another huge, but very different franchise. Director Coogler will have to tread carefully here though, as the rivalry of this brotherly dynamic shares more than a passing similarity to the relationship between Loki and Thor. 2. Erik Killmonger
Always be prepared.
As the Black Panther’s archenemy Ulysses Klaw has already made his cinematic debut in Avengers: Age of Ultron, it seems certain that Andy Serkis’s character will return in Coogler’s upcoming movie. If this does happen, then there’s a strong change that Marvel could utilise a storyline involving Erik Killmonger, a Wakandan citizen who was exiled when his father betrayed the Kingdom by helping Klaw try to seize power. Killmonger’s plan for revenge on the Black Panther’s kingdom could be a powerful story line and we already know that Boyega can handle himself in a fight scene, so this choice has strong potential.3. W’Kabi
Wakanda’s Next Top Model
While there a number of villains that Boyega could play in the MCU, there’s also a chance that Coogler could utilise the young actors charisma for a potentially heroic role in the Black Panther movie.
If that’s the case, then there’s a good chance that Boyega may be tapped to play W’Kabi, the chief of Wakandan security and T’Challa’s second-in-command. A best friend role would help humanise King T’Challa and Boyega’s already proved that he can handle that kind of loyal friendship with Oscar Isaac’s character Poe Dameron in The Force Awakens.In case you’re wondering, it’s unlikely that a cinematic version of W’Kabi would include his bionic arm, as the similarities to the Winter Soldier would be impossible to ignore, especially as Bucky is currently sleeping off the events of Captain America: Civil War in Wakanda. Awkward.4. Man-Ape
Monkeying around — yep, I went there.
Utilising a villain called Man-Ape in a film comprised mainly of African and African-American actors could be a potential minefield, but it wouldn’t be the first time that Marvel has successfully modernised an outdated character.Man-Ape is one of T’Challa’s most recognisable enemies after all and his prowess as a warrior could pose an entertaining threat to the Black Panther. Marvel may wish to consider revising Man-Apes origin somewhat though, as his powers are derived from eating the flesh of Wakanda’s rare white gorillas. Boyega is charismatic, sure, but I doubt even he could pull that one off. 5. Reverend Achebe
Why doesn’t the puppet have hands!?
Most of the characters featured on this list are fairly serious, dour figures, but if Marvel do confirm the casting of Boyega, they may wish to utilise his comedic timing as a counterpoint to the royal poise of King T’Challa.
If so, a potential route the studio could explore is casting Boyega as Reverend Achebe, an African farmer who sold his soul to a demon, granting him the strength and skill to kill his enemies with ease.While that may not sound like a particularly effective outlet for Boyega’s comic energy, what sets Achebe apart from other characters on this list is his unpredictable lunacy, showcased best when he talks to a hand-puppet named Daki, because, comics. Like the Joker and Harley Quinn, Achebe’s off kilter delusions could prove to be extremely popular if handled right and Boyega could certainly be the right guy for the job. Who Would You Like John Boyega To Play In Black Panther?
I think so, yes.