EXCLUSIVE: Sterling K. Brown Says Marvel's 'Black Panther' Isn't Just an Action Film: 'It's Socially Relevant'
This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown is headed to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with his role in the upcoming Black Panther film, and the Emmy-winning star says the long-awaited action epic is more than just a simple superhero story.
Brown, whose casting was announced earlier this week, said that the script "is absolutely fantastic," and raises some "really provocative questions."
"It is politically astute. It is incredibly socially relevant," Brown told ET at the 2017 Film Independent Filmmaker Grant and Spirit Award Nominees Brunch in Los Angeles on Saturday.
"It’s not just an action film; it addresses the climate today of Africans and African-Americans — across the country and across the world — in a way that people will really be excited about," he added.
Brown is set to star opposite Chadwick Boseman, who plays the eponymous Marvel hero, as well as Michael B. Jordan, Forest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis.
In the film, Boseman stars as T'Challa, the young king of the African nation of Wakanda, who also serves as the country's masked protector under the guise of the Black Panther. The character was first introduced in the MCU in Captain America: Civil War, where Boseman delivered one of the film's standout performances.
Brown has remained tight-lipped regarding his role in the movie, but did share what he could, explaining, "My character, N’Jobu, is from T’Challa’s past."
"And basically, without losing a testicle, I don’t think I can say anything else," Brown quipped. "I want to keep them both."
While N'Jobu doesn't appear in any existing Black Panther comics, fans and comic lovers have offered many theories regarding what role Brown's character will play in the epic Wakandan tale. Some have suggested he could play the man who trained T'Challa in the ways of combat, while others have speculated that he could play the father of the film's possible villain, Erik Killmonger (Jordan).
Given the extreme secrecy Marvel usually demands from its cast and crew, it's unlikely that fans will get any real clues until the first trailers drop later this year.
Black Panther, directed by Creed helmer Ryan Coogler, is slated to hit theaters Feb. 16, 2018.