When Marvel brought the cast for Black Panther on stage at Comic-Con over the weekend, all they revealed about the upcoming movie were the character names and a new logo. That’s it. One of those cast members is brilliant Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o who’s starring in her first comic book film… and I don’t think she has the hang of it yet.
No, I’m not referring to her ability to play a comic book badass, as I have no doubt about her abilities there. But rather it seems that even though she’s worked on a super-secretive movie like Star Wars: The Force Awakens before, she apparently still doesn’t know to not just give away plot details.
Now for the extreme spoiler-phobes among you, I have to mentioned that these aren’t exactly mindblowing spoilers, but with director Ryan Coogler and co only barely starting on production in the film, Marvel would probably have preferred to release info at a later time, or maybe when they eventually have the first trailer ready. Either way, it’s out there now.
Here’s what Nyong’o told the New York Times, during an interview about the movie.
Well I can say a little actually. I can say more than I could about Star Wars. I play Nakia, who is member of the Dora Milaje which is, as I’m sure you know, a special forces group from Wakanda. And the story of this Black Panther is…what I am allowed to say? The story is that the Black Panther’s leadership is been threatened by two foes that come together, and so Black Panther gets the help of the C.I.A. and the Dora Milaje to try and defeat the enemy.
Someone’s going to fire me shortly. I have to shut up now.
Firstly, I love that she realizes her slip-up and so throws in that last line disclaimer there. Secondly, what can we actually learn from this? Well, as per the onstage introductions, we already knew about the Dora Milaje, who serve as the personal bodyguards to Chadwick Boseman’s King T’Challa of Wakanda aka the titular Black Panther.
In the comics, T’Challa reinstitutes the Dora Milaje program after years of inactivity and picked two young women, Nakia and Okoye, to be the first to serve. However, Nakia fell in love with T’Challa, with her love turning to a dangerously jealous and lethal obsession that eventually saw her expelled from her tribe and Wakanda. She would get caught up with another bad crowd who left her for dead, before being found by the villainous Killmonger, who nursed her back to help using arcane magic. Imbuing her with enhanced strength and flawless accuracy, and now dubbing her Malice, Killmonger recruited her to his own plans of destroying Wakanda.
As you may recall from the Marvel Comic-Con panel coverage over the weekend, it’s now been revealed that Michael B. Jordan is in fact playing Killmonger in the movie. So could it be that his Killmonger and Nyong’o’s Nakia are actually the “two foes that come together” that she’s referring to? Maybe not, as she specifically mentions that the Dora Milaje are still trying to help Black Panther.
If not Nakia though, then the likeliest candidate is Ulysses Klaw, who we’ve already seen in the MCU. He was played by Andy Serkis in Avengers: Age of Ultron, as an arms dealer who was trafficking in vibranium, the ultra rare mineral found only in Wakanda. Last we saw of him, he was busy getting his arm chopped off by Ultron, which is actually convenient seeing as how his comic book counterpart has a sonic-blaster which replaced his mangled hand.
Klaw is one of Black Panther’s most well known foes in the comics, so it would make sense for him to be an antagonist in the movie as well. The problem with this comes in if Marvel follow Killmonger’s origin from the comics as well, as in there Klaw is responsible for Killmonger’s father’s death and also getting him kicked out of Wakanda.
Whoever is assisting Killmonger on the villainy front, it’s intriguing that she specifically mentions the CIA though. Captain America: Civil War, in which Black Panther was first introduced, also introduced Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, a member of the Joint Counter Terrorism Center. In the comics, he is actually associated quite a bit with Black Panther, so it’s more than likely that he would be representing the CIA somehow.
With Black Panther not even having started shooting yet, and the movie only releasing on 16 February, 2018, it’s still going to be some time before we can confirm any of this info though.
Last Updated: July 27, 2016