Marvel Didn’t Realize Black Panther Supporting Cast Would Be So Popular – Screen Rant

Marvel Studios didn’t realize how popular Black Panther’s supporting cast would be, including Danai Gurira’s Okoye and Letitia Wright’s Shuri.
Marvel didn’t initially realize how popular the Black Panther supporting cast would be. Black Panther was released in 2018 and starred the late Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther in the lead. Directed by Ryan Coogler, the film would go on to become a massive success, raking in $1.3 billion worldwide, making it one of Marvel’s most successful films. The film also introduced a number of new characters to the MCU, including Danai Gurira’s Okoye and Letitia Wright’s Shuri, who both appeared again in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger was another major character introduced to the franchise. Although his character was killed at the end of the film, Jordan recently reprised the role in Marvel’s What If…? series. In the series, Killmonger betrays Tony Stark and takes on a very different role than he did in Black Panther, giving him an entirely different arc, but still within the attributes of his character.
Related: Black Panther 2 Shouldn’t Have A Villain (Because It Can’t Beat Killmonger)
While on the set of Eternals, Screen Rant was there with other venues to talk about the new film, where producer Nate Moore revealed that Marvel didn’t realize that the supporting cast of Black Panther would be as popular as they became. Moore elaborates that once they became as popular as they did, it led to the characters making their way into Avengers. He says that the audience feedback in that regard helped decide where they would go with them. Read what Moore said below:
“When we made [Black] Panther, we didn’t realize Okoye or Shuri would be as popular as they were. Well, then, all of a sudden you’re like well, we’re making Avengers, wouldn’t it be cool if Okoye and Shuri were in this film as well. So to some degree, there is a little bit of audience feedback where we go.”
Boseman passed away in 2020 after a private battle with colon cancer. His last appearances as Black Panther were in Avengers: Endgame and Marvel’s What If…?, in which he supplied the voice for the character. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is currently in production, and it’s unclear what direction the sequel will go in terms of filling the lead character’s role (if at all). Marvel has said they won’t be recasting T’Challa, so it serves to believe that it will be a new or returning character that will pick up the mantle.
In the comics, Shuri eventually becomes Black Panther, so that’s always possible for the sequel. That said, the MCU has always taken its own direction, while paying homage to the comic roots, so it’s possible that it could be just about any character. The popularity of Okoye and Shuri is huge, but Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia, Daniel Kaluuya’s W’Kabi and Winston Duke’s M’Baku are also impressive characters that could potentially take on the mantle of Black Panther or simply be featured in other MCU films. Regardless of who takes on the Black Panther mantle, the supporting cast is firmly established enough to help usher in the next era in Wakanda and beyond.
Next: How Shuri’s New MCU Story Sets Up Iron Man’s Replacement
Paul Shirey is a senior news writer for Screen Rant. Formerly the Editor-in-Chief of, he has over a decade of writing and reporting about the entertainment industry and has covered everything from Comic Con to CinemaCon to Star Wars Celebration, as well as covering numerous set visits and junkets all over the world. He is passionate about film, comics, TV and spends way too much on collectibles. A proud father, a combat veteran, dog lover, gym rat, coffee enthusiast and all around equal opportunity doughnut devourer, you can follow his daily exploits on Twitter and Instagram, as well as YouTube Videos on The Arctic Ninja Network.


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