Marvel’s Black Panther may be on the prowl for Oscar-winning female lead

marvel black panther lupita nyongo oscars flickr
Disney | ABC Television Group/Flickr
With an Oscar and a Star Wars credit to her name, Lupita Nyong’o already has a resume to envy — and she’s only adding to it. The actress and filmmaker may soon be joining the MCU; she’s in talks to star in Black Panther, according to THR.

Although it hasn’t been revealed what role Nyong’o would play in the upcoming Marvel film, the mystery character in question is reportedly the love interest of Black Panther himself, T’Challa (played by Chadwick Boseman). This narrows down the list of possibilities, but there are still multiple contenders given the warrior king’s romantic history in the comics. With the king of Wakanda traditionally choosing his wife from among his female soldiers in the comics, there’s definitely potential for Nyong’o’s character to be a fighter.

Black Panther will be the superhero’s first standalone film, but he just made his debut in Captain America: Civil War. He teamed up with fellow Marvel favorites to brawl and gross hundreds of millions of dollars in ticket sales. (The film, which opened on May 6, has already made $765.87 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo data at the time of publishing.) Between Boseman’s strong performance in Civil War and Marvel’s track record of success, we’d expect nothing less than a box office hit.

The addition of an actress of Nyong’o’s caliber will certainly help as well. She won her Academy Award for a supporting role in 12 Years a Slave, which just so happened to be her first feature film. Nyong’o has since gone on to play the alien Maz Kanata in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and she’ll return for the upcoming Episode VIII. The actress also voiced Raksha the wolf in this year’s The Jungle Book and will next appear in the biographical drama Queen of Katwe.

While Nyong’o hasn’t officially joined Black Panther, we have high hopes. Should she sign on, she’ll be directed by Ryan Coogler, who wrote and helmed Creed. The film is slated to hit theaters in February 2018.

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