Marvel’s Black Panther already boasted perhaps the most impressive cast of any film Marvel Studios has released, so people could be forgiven for thinking the film’s group of actors couldn’t get any stronger. But with today’s announcement that Emmy Award-winning actor Sterling K Brown is joining the cast of the film, it’s safe to say the cast has become even more compelling.
Brown had an incredible year, beginning with his breakthrough and award-winning performance as Christopher Darden in FX’s acclaimed series “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”. Brown followed this up with a starring role on NBC’s “This Is Us”, which has proven itself to be both a critical and popular hit.
In Marvel’s announcement, they revealed that Brown will be portraying N’Jobu, “a figure from T’Challa, aka Black Panther’s, past.” As N’Jobu doesn’t seem to be a character that has appeared in the Black Panther comics before, it’s unclear whether Marvel has created a new character for the film, or is attempting to disguise the identity of a familiar face. As the story for the film is supposed to be drawing heavily from Ta-Nehisi Coates‘ current and acclaimed run on the title, it’s possible this could be a figure from Coates’ plot we have yet to see.
Brown joins an incredible cast headed by Chadwick Boseman in the title role, with Michael B. Jordan, Forest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong’o, and Angela Bassett also in the cast. The film is the first entry in what Marvel hopes will be a Black Panther franchise, following the character’s scene-stealing debut in “Captain America: Civil War.” If successful it means that Marvel could diversify its universe with a big-sreeen franchise aimed at, and made by, African-Americans, which is certainly a good thing. However, Marvel’s patented house style and accumulated audience goodwill should also mean that a wider audience will show up in droves.
For his part, Brown tweeted his excitement at joining the film:
— Sterling K Brown (@sterlingkb1) January 5, 2017
Directed by Ryan Coogler (“Creed” and “Fruitvale Station”), Marvel’s Black Panther opens February 16, 2018.