Summary

  • Following a potential MCU reboot, T’Challa’s Black Panther could be recast, opening up new storylines for the character.
  • Potential actors who could successfully portray T’Challa include Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, David Oyelowo and Laz Alonso.
  • The First Purge
    star Y’lan Noel has expressed interest in assuming the role of T’Challa in the MCU’s future.

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Marvel Studios’ T’Challa, a.k.a. the Black Panther, may be recast if the MCU is rebooted following 2027’s Avengers: Secret Wars. The late Chadwick Boseman first appeared as T’Challa, the Prince of Wakanda and the Black Panther, in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, and went on to star as the vibranium-empowered superhero in Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Boseman’s tragic passing after a battle with colon cancer in 2020 came as a shock, but instead of recasting T’Challa in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Marvel Studios and Ryan Coogler developed the sequel as a tribute to the legendary actor.

While Marvel Studios chose not to recast T’Challa in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, recent rumors of a potential MCU reboot following Avengers: Secret Wars could bring about the character’s recast in the MCU’s future. An MCU reboot will give Marvel Studios the opportunity to revive many fallen heroes, including T’Challa’s Black Panther, Tony Stark’s Iron Man and Steve Rogers’ Captain America, allowing for an exploration of Marvel Comics storylines that haven’t yet been adapted into the live-action MCU. A reboot would be a reasonable time to recast T’Challa, and there are many talented actors who would perfectly fit the role.

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10 Derek Luke Has Experience Working With Marvel Studios

Antwone Fisher (2002), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Purge (2019)

Derek Luke rose to prominence as the titular character in 2002’s Antwone Fisher, directed by Denzel Washington, and became more widely known for roles in Friday Night Lights, Miracle at St. Anna, Glory Road and 13 Reasons Why. Luke’s physique is perfect for the Wakandan T’Challa, and his prior experience working with Marvel Studios as Gabe Jones in Captain America: The First Avenger means he already has a foot in the door. Luke’s experience in dramas such as Empire, The Americans and The Purge prove he can take on the more emotionally-demanding aspects of Black Panther in the MCU’s future.

9 Michael Jai White Has Played A Superhero Before

Spawn (1997), Black Dynamite (2009), Arrow (2013)

Michael Jai White as Gambol in The Dark Knight

While Michael Jai White is known for his roles in Why Did I Get Married?, Mortal Combat: Legacy and Tyson, his martial arts expertise set him apart from other T’Challa candidates. White is skilled in nine different forms of martial arts, so he’d be able to tackle the action-heavy moments of T’Challa’s adventures as the Black Panther, and his previous experience in superhero franchises make him likely to join the MCU. White portrayed Al Simmons in 1997’s Spawn, Gambol in 2012’s The Dark Knight and Ben Turner’s Bronze Tiger in Arrow, so could easily make the move to the MCU.

8 Omari Hardwick’s Regality Is Perfect For T’Challa

Miracle At St. Anna (2008), Power (2014), Army Of The Dead (2021)

Omari Hardwick as James St. Patrick in Power

Over his impressive two-decade-long career, Omari Hardwick has displayed a style and regality that would make him perfect to become the King of Wakanda and the Black Panther. Best known for his starring roles in Power, Army of the Dead and Miracle at St. Anna, Hardwick is adept at delivering drama, and his captivating screen presence means he would be able to continue Chadwick Boseman’s legacy brilliantly. His experience in science fiction projects such as Sorry to Bother You and the upcoming The Mothership proves he’d relish in the MCU’s weirder storylines, while always retaining his air of royalty.

7 John Boyega Has Been Rumored For An MCU Role For Years

Attack The Block (2011), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), They Cloned Tyrone (2023)

John Boyega as Fontaine in They Cloned Tyrone

British actor John Boyega has previously stated that he wouldn’t assume a role in the MCU, but the role of T’Challa and the legacy the Black Panther carries may convince Boyega to decide otherwise. Boyega rose to fame as gang leader Moses in 2011’s Attack the Block, but became more widely recognized as Finn in the Star Wars franchise. Boyega openly criticized Disney for the treatment of Finn, implying that he was sidelined due to his race, so it may be unlikely for Boyega to join the Disney-run MCU. However, a hero who celebrates his Black heritage may turn this tide.

John Boyega has recently been rumored to be taking over the role of Kang the Conqueror following Jonathan Majors’ conviction in December 2023, though outright denied his involvement with Marvel Studios. More recent rumors suggest Academy Award-nominee Colman Domingo may become the MCU’s Kang the Conqueror.

6 Laz Alonso Could Make The Move From The Boys

Avatar (2009), Fast & Furious (2009), The Boys (2019)

Perhaps best known for portraying Fenix Calderon in 2009’s Fast & Furious and Tsu’tey in 2009’s James Cameron smash-hit Avatar, Laz Alonso has gone on to have an impressive career. More recently, Alonso has become better known as Mother’s Milk in The Boys, but a role in the MCU could skyrocket his popularity further. Alonso’s physique is impressive, and certainly fits the model for an athletic and powerful Wakandan warrior, and he has continuously displayed his skill at delivering both drama and comedy. Whoever portrays T’Challa needs to have this perfect balance, so Laz Alonso could be a mean contender.

5 Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Is Both Soft & Intense

Lost (2005), Suicide Squad (2016), His Dark Materials (2022)

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Mr. Eko in Lost

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje has become best known for his roles of Mr. Eko in Lost, Simon Adebisi in Oz and Nykwana Wombosi in The Bourne Identity, and has managed to display his sheer intensity in each. While T’Challa is a soft and gentle presence, he is also supremely powerful and steadfast as the Wakandan King, so the actor playing him needs to be able to cover all these bases. Akinnuoye-Agbaje is truly captivating, and still provides comfort when needed. His previous experience as Kurse in Thor: The Dark World may have already put him on Marvel Studios’ radar for future roles.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s role of Kurse in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World saw his face completely covered, meaning he could easily assume another role in the MCU’s future. Akinnuoye-Agbaje also has superhero experience after his portrayal of Killer Croc in 2016’s Suicide Squad in the DCEU.

4 Michael Ealy Has The Charm & Style Of T’Challa

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), About Last Night (2014), Westworld (2020)

Michael Ealy as Jake Reed in Westworld

Star of stage and screen Michael Ealy would bring a wonderful sense of theatricality to T’Challa, while still delivering the impact, drama and lighter tones of the Black Panther. Ealy is perhaps best known for his roles in Barbershop, 2 Fast 2 Furious, About Last Night and Westworld, with each displaying his full commitment to his roles, and proving his aptitude for drama, comedy and science fiction. Ealy’s easy charm and impeccable style would fit the world of Wakanda to a tee, so he would surely be a clear candidate to assume the role of T’Challa after an MCU reboot.

3 David Oyelowo Has The Theatricality Of A Wakandan King

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011), Selma (2014), The Midnight Sky (2020)

David Oyelowo as Kiel in The Cloverfield Paradox

British actor David Oyelowo rose to prominence after portraying Martin Luther King, Jr. in 2014’s Selma, a role that required care, dramatic skill and commitment. This, as well as his role of Peter Snowdin in Nightingale, put Oyelowo on the map as a theatrical performer with a captivating screen presence, something which would translate into T’Challa perfectly. Oyelowo has more recently been taking on more science fiction roles in projects such as The Cloverfield Paradox, The Midnight Sky, Chaos Walking and Silo, proving that his theatrical experience makes him perfect for stranger storylines, which would fit the Black Panther brilliantly.

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2 Lakeith Stanfield Would Be A Strong Choice For T’Challa’s Recast

Short Term 12 (2013), Get Out (2017), Judas & The Black Messiah (2021)

Prior to earning an Academy Award nomination for his role of William O’Neal in Judas and the Black Messiah, Lakeith Stanfield demonstrated his expert talent in projects including Selma, Get Out, Sorry to Bother You, Knives Out and Straight Outta Compton. Stanfield has a huge amount of range, being able to also tackle more comedic roles such as that in Atlanta, and this range would help him fully inhabit the powerful King of Wakanda, T’Challa. Stanfield has achieved huge levels of success very quickly, so a role in a major superhero franchise would be the next logical step.

1 Y’lan Noel Has Expressed Interest In Portraying T’Challa

Insecure (2016), The First Purge (2018), The Photograph (2020)

Y'lan Noel as Daniel King in Insecure

Y’lan Noel may be one of the lesser-known stars who could portray the MCU’s new version of T’Challa, but he may also be the perfect choice for the hero. Not only does Noel have drama, action and comedy projects, but he has also directly expressed his interest in becoming the Black Panther in the MCU. In 2022, Noel stated to The Movie Blog that he would take the role of T’Challa’s Black Panther “in the blink of an eye,” and with the MCU potentially heading towards a reboot and T’Challa’s recasting, this could put him right in Marvel Studios’ crosshairs.

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