Rumors that Marvel Studios is moving forward with a Black Panther movie are still running rampant around the Web. Despite the studio’s denial that a project about the African prince is in the works, many feel that a film about one of Marvel’s Black superheroes is well overdue.
For those who don’t follow the comics, Black Panther is an Oxford University-educated African prince named T’Challa. He is the son of T’Chaka, the chief of the Panther Tribe in the fictional African nation of Wakanda.
When T’Chaka is killed by the villain Ulysses Klaw, T’Challa is crowned king of Wakanda and becomes Black Panther. He then uses his superior intellect and superhuman strength and agility to fight against evil. Sometimes T’Challa teams up with the Fantastic Four or the Avengers to save the world.
The T’Challa character would be a major feat for any Black actor, potentially becoming the breakout role for many of them who are enjoying D-list careers. Here’s a short list of actors who could be given strong consideration for the Black Panther role. Idris Elba, Jamie Foxx, Samuel Jackson, Anthony Mackie and Edi Gathegi have all played prominent roles in Marvel films already, so they were not included.
Denzel Washington would bring unmatched star power to the role. His ability has already been demonstrated and Marvel would surely want an actor of this caliber to play the Black Panther. But Washington has one strike against him — he’s 59 years old. The veteran actor would be a perfect fit for T’Chaka though.
Djimon Hounsou played Korath in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but he is an exception on this list because he was also featured as the Black Panther in the 2011 animated television series on BET.
Despite pushing 50, the “Amistad” actor would still be a safe bet because many viewers would find him believable as the African prince T’Challa. Marvel would be crazy not to cast him.