UPDATE: This post includes a quotation from an interview between Sterling K. Brown and The Undefeated, as it originally appeared when published. In the time since MCUExchange and others have reported on the quote, The Undefeated has edited their article, removing Phylicia Rashad‘s name and replacing with an ellipsis.
Last week Sterling K. Brown, one of the hottest actors in Hollywood, joined the cast of Black Panther. We don’t yet know the true nature of that role (though we have some guesses here at MCUExchange), but he is already talking about it in interviews. Recently, The Undefeated caught up with Brown and talked with him about the film and the state of black characters in superhero movies. He was clearly excited about Black Panther, a movie that years ago he thought would never happen. And even seems to have revealed a yet to be announced cast member of Black Panther, Phylicia Rashad
I was reading Reginald Hudlin’s series of the Black Panther 10 or 12 years ago and I remember loving it. A friend of mine was like, ‘Dude, you should buy the rights.’ I was like, ‘C’mon, man. Ain’t nobody going to do no black superhero movie!’ And here we are, 12 years later. It did my heart good to see Chad [Boseman] in Civil War. And after having read the script — which I can’t say anything about or I’m going to have to cut off my pinkie toe — I’m excited for fans to see what Nate Moore and Ryan Coogler has in store for them. It’s something special.
His comments show his fandom and just how different the world is in a decade. Marvel has been slow to film a solo movie surrounding an African or African American character, but Black Panther is now a big part of the future of the MCU. For Brown, the production of the movie is not just a job, but the realization of a dream from long ago. He’s personally connected to the material on an emotional level. In a way, the cast and crew can’t believe it’s really happening.
I was having this conversation with Nate and he’s saying that Ryan was asking him, ‘So how many white people are going to be in this thing?’ And Nate was like, ‘Well, it’s going to take place in Wakanda, so probably it will be majority African.’ He’s like, ‘Can we do that? Can we do that?”
The interviewer then went on to talk about how hyped so many people are for the cast of Black Panther and what that means for films driven by African American casts.
I just worked with Chad on a film called Marshall, about Thurgood Marshall. He’s such a talented human being and a deep soul. He’s the perfect personality to fully inhabit T’Challa. So, to rejoin him, and to work with Academy Award winners … to be with Michael B. Jordan after the incredible work he’s done in Creed. Danai Gurira, Phylicia Rashad, Forest Whitaker — like, it’s embarrassing. I’m good at what I do — I don’t try to do any sort of false modesty — but, ‘Wow! I get to be with all of you people!?!’ I think Ryan Coogler is one of the great storytellers that we have working today. The meeting I had with Nate Moore before I even got to chance to audition for Panther, and to see the level of knowledge, and just passion that he has for the whole universe, and for this project in particular … it’s in such good hands. I worked with Joe Robert Cole — he was one of our writers on The People vs. O.J. who co-writes with Ryan Coogler [on Panther]. Like, everyone is so good at what they do.
The big news here is that Phylicia Rashad is going to be part of the cast. This is a common fan casting desire and she has a personal relationship with Chadwick Boseman, but now we know from Brown that she is in fact in the movie. (Way back in April MCUExchange covered a rumor that there may be as many as four major female roles and some of our commenters wanted Rashad.) Given that Marvel tends to keep casting news close to the vest, one wonders if the new addition to the Marvel family will be encouraged to keep his lips a little more sealed. Rashad is a wonderful addition to the cast. Many will think of her forever as Mrs. Huxtable, but she also was an incredible part of the ensemble in Creed. Clearly, Ryan Coogler is not only making a racially diverse movie, but also a movie with more roles for women than in many comic films.
Brown was also asked to talk a little about the nature of his character but added very little detail.
I don’t want to get kneecapped … so I’m just going to keep it at this level: He is somebody from T’Challa’s past.
To read more about Brown’s hot streak and what all is happening in his career, check out the link below. (He also name drops Luke Cage.) As for the Black Panther info, are you excited to see Rashad joining the cast? Is this going to be the greatest Marvel cast ever? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Source: The Undefeated