Her casting was never officially announced, although, thanks to a mention by her reps (IAG - Identify Agency Group) in October of last year, we reported on this blog that British actress Letitia Wright had landed what her reps said at the time was "a major role" in the highly anticipated "Black Panther" feature film, directed by Ryan Coogler.
The initial mention by IAG came with a photo of Wright along with the image (bottom of this post) of a character from the Black Panther universe, although unnamed. We guessed that it was an illustration of Shuri, the younger sister of T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), who would become a Wakandan queen. As such, according to the Marvel wiki, she is the ruler of Wakanda, Black Panther's home country - the fictional African nation known to be one of the most technologically advanced civilizations on Earth.
And now thanks to press attendee photos we came across this morning from last night’s Disney CinemaCon panel (taking place in Las Vegas), the full main cast list for Black Panther was revealed, confirming that Letitia Wright is indeed playing Shuri. Take a look immediately below (4th from the right):
Much about the project has been wrapped in secrecy; beyond the previously-announced cast, we don't really know much else. So exactly how much of "a major role" (as her reps described it) that Wright as Shuri will play in the story the film tells, isn't known at this time. But she is indeed an important character in the Black Panther universe, as we've learned. We'll leave it to you Black Panther experts to enlighten the rest of us with your informed speculation.
Ms. Wright joins a stellar cast that includes Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther himself; Michael B. Jordan, who will play Erik Killmonger (Black Panther’s nemesis, so it looks like he might be the film’s main villain); Lupita Nyong’o, taking the role of Nakia; Danai Gurira as Okoye. Both Nakia and Okoye are of the Wakandan Dora Milaje, the “Adored Ones” and personal bodyguards of the Black Panther, recruited from every tribe of Wakanda; Forest Whitaker has signed up to play Zuri, an elder Wakandan statesman; Florence Kasumba will reprise her “Captain America: Civil War” role as Ayo, a member of the Dora Milaje; and Daniel Kaluuya will play W’Kabi, a T’Challa confidant; and others.
Ryan Coogler is directing from a script he’s co-writing with Joe Robert Cole.
Filming is underway with a February 2018 release date scheduled; we expect that Comic-Con attendees this summer will likely get a tease of the upcoming movie.
Letitia Wright's previous work includes the lead in Michael Caton Jones feature film "Urban Hymn" (2016). Her TV credits include the Channel 4 series "Cucumber," and sister series "Banana" for E4. She can currently be seen in the AMC (USA)/Channel 4 (UK) sci-fi series "Humans." She will also appear in Steven Spielberg's upcoming feature, "Ready Player One."
Below is the image that her reps at IAG shared with the announcement of her casting in "Black Panther," which we can now confirm is Shuri - as we guessed last year.