Oscar winner Forest Whitaker has boarded Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” as Zuri, described as an elder statesman in Wakanda.
The film has also added Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke and Florence Kasumba. They join a cast that already includes Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia and Danai Gurira as Okoye.
Marvel’s announcement confirms an earlier report that Duke (“Person of Interest”) will play M’Baku, aka Man-Ape, leader of a rival tribe who in the comics frequently tries to seize the throne of Wakanda from T’Challa. Kasumba reprises her “Captain America: Civil War” role as Ayo, a member of the Dora Milaje, a group of Wakandan women who serve as Black Panther’s bodyguards, while Kaluuya (“Skins,” “Sicario”) will play T’Challa’s confidant W’Kabi.
Whitaker’s character Zuri was introduced in 1998’s “Black Panther” #1 as a warrior and loyal companion to T’Challa’s father T’Chaka who later served his son. The actor, whose long list of credits includes “The Butler,” “Fruitvale Station” and “The Last King of Scotland,” will next be seen in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which opens Dec. 16.
Directed by Ryan Coogler from a script he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole, “Black Panther” opens Feb. 16, 2018.
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