T’Challa’s confidant and rival have been cast for ‘Black Panther’

Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker is the latest to crossover from Star Wars to Marvel. He's joined the cast of Ryan Coogler's Black Panther as have Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, and Florence Kasumba officially.

There's been crossover before (notably Samuel L. Jackson) but now that Disney, Marvel, and Lucasfilm are all working together we're seeing some actors pop up in multiple franchises. Lupita Nyong'o played Maz Kanata in The Force Awakens then went on to star in Disney's The Jungle Book (and the newly released Queen of Katwe) and landed a role in Marvel's Black Panther. Black Widow Scarlett Johansson also voiced a character in The Jungle Book. It's not quite the bygone studio era but the trend does make me think Thor: Ragnarok's Tessa Thompson has a good chance take the female lead in the Han Solo film.

Whitaker will be seen December 16th as Rogue One's Saw Gerrera, a Star Wars: The Clone Wars character who we expect we're going to learn much more about but Marvel.com announced the actor “will play the role of Zuri, an elder statesman in Wakanda” for the Marvel film which has a February 16, 2018 release date.

Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker has joined the cast of Marvel Studios” “Black Panther.” The film, directed by Ryan Coogler (“Fruitvale Station,” “Creed”), has also added Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, and Florence Kasumba to an all-star lineup that includes Chadwick Boseman as T”Challa, ruler of Wakanda, and Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger, plus Lupita Nyong”o as Nakia and Danai Gurira as Okoye, members of the fierce Dora Milaje.

Kaluuya and Duke's names are new to the cast list but we had assumed Kasumba, who played the Dora Milaje's Ayo so perfectly in Captain America: Civil War, would be back. She's also set to star in NBC's Emerald City as East.

Marvel says Kaluuya, who's had some great work recently with Sicario and Black Mirror (and the upcoming Jordan Peele horror flick Get Out), is T”Challa's confidant W”Kabi in the film. Person of Interest's Duke will play M”Baku, the leader of a rival tribe in Wakanda.