Ryan Coogler’s geopolitical genre buster Black Panther is now filming in Atlanta in preparation for a 2018 release. While we await the official release from Marvel Studios that indicates the beginning of production, we’ve been doing some digging and we believe we found a couple of interesting nuggets. It seems that John Kani will be reprising his role as T’Chaka, father of T’Challa, and that his son, Atandwa Kani will be portraying a younger King T’Chaka in flashbacks!

A series of tweets from the younger Kani (embedded below) indicates that the actor is in Atlanta and seem to hint at him playing the younger version of his father’s character. In looking over the IMDB cast list for Black Panther, Atandwa Kani is indeed listed as ‘Young T’Chaka.’ Kani’s tweets show that he has grown a beard very similar to the one sported by his father and he looks very much like he could be portraying the younger version. IMDB is by no means an official source, but they do a decent job of maintaining some semblance of credibility, so while we believe this is accurate, we are running it as speculation for the time being.

Seeing a young T’Chaka in flashbacks certainly fits with what we already know about the film. We know that part of the film will feature flashbacks to the 90s with a young T’Challa and we strongly believe that Sterling K. Brown’s character, N’Jobu, will appear in flashbacks as the father of T’Challa’s nemesis, Erik Killmonger, in scenes that provide the necessary exposition for Killmonger’s quest for vengeance. Interestingly enough, one of the younger Kani’s tweets indicates that he is working with Brown.

So while we wait for confirmation that both of the Kanis will appear in the film, we feel fairly confident that we will see John on screen as T’Chaka again and that we may get a rather extended appearance by his son Atandwa as the young warrior-king of Wakanda!

On a related note, this should help some of you put to bed the Marvel Studios casting rumors that spread the other day from a 4chan post. In those rumors, actor Malachi Kirby was said to portray ‘Young T’Chakka.’ If and when Kani is officially announced in the role, it would help cast further doubt on the casting rumors. That would make me very happy as I am very hopeful that Peter Dinklage is going to play Pip the Troll and not Eitri (as cool as it would be to see Mjolnir being forged!).