The latest superhero film from Marvel Studios has officially entered production this week. Black Panther, starring Chadwick Boseman as the titular hero, is now filming in anticipation of its 2018 release date. Marvel announced the film’s start today, along with an official story synopsis and a full list of the film’s cast.
The character of Black Panther was introduced in last year’s Captain America: Civil War. Originally presented as the prince of the African kingdom of Wakanda, T’Challa became the nation’s ruler when his father was killed in an explosion by Baron Zemo.
Now Boseman will reprise the character in his own solo film, joined by two other returning characters. Martin Freeman (Sherlock, The Hobbit trilogy) will return as Everett Ross, another character introduced in Captain America: Civil War. Andy Serkis (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Lord of the Rings trilogy) reprises his Avengers: Age of Ultron role as smuggler Ulysses Klaue.
New cast members have been slowly announced over the past few weeks, but today’s announcement from Marvel gives a complete list. In addition to Boseman, Freeman, and Serkis, the film will star Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station, Creed), Academy Award-winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead), and Angela Bassett (What’s Love Got to Do with It, American Horror Story).
Director Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) will helm Black Panther from a screenplay by himself and Joe Robert Cole.
Marvel also released an official synopsis for the new movie, which reveals the story will follow T’Challa as he returns home to Wakanda following the events of Captain America: Civil War. An “old enemy” (rumored to be Erik Killmonger, a Wakandan exile who wants to overthrow T’Challa) returns and puts Black Panther in the middle of a conflict that affects not just Wakanda, but the entire world.
Black Panther will hit theaters on February 16, 2018.