Update January 11: As it turns out, Phylicia Rashad's name was removed from Sterling K. Brown's quote for an entirely non-conspiritorial reason: she's not in Black Panther. Comicbook.com received an official statement from Disney that Rashad is not in the film, and this was purely a case of either someone misspeaking or misquoting. No blame was placed or implied, it was just a simple error.
While Rashad is a great actress and would make a fun addition to the film, she is not one of the members of the incredible cast. That cast, however, does include Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong'o, Forest Whitaker, and Angela Basset, so it's still arguably the most stacked superhero cast of all time.
Original Story: Sterling K. Brown is flying high right now. He's got a starring role in NBC's highly-regarded drama series This Is Us, received a Golden Globe nomination for his brilliant work as prosecutor Chris Darden in FX's award-winning mini-series The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and four days ago landed a role in Marvel's Black Panther. In all that excitement, Brown slipped up in a recent interview, revealing that Phylicia Rashad is also a member of the Black Panther cast.
"I just worked with Chad [Boseman] on a film called Marshall, about Thurgood Marshall. He’s such a talented human being and a deep soul," Brown told The Undefeated. "He’s the perfect personality to fully inhabit T’Challa. So, to rejoin him, and to work with Academy Award winners … to be with Michael B. Jordan after the incredible work he’s done in Creed. Danai Gurira, Phylicia Rashad, Forest Whitaker — like, it’s embarrassing. I’m good at what I do — I don’t try to do any sort of false modesty — but, ‘Wow! I get to be with all of you people!?!’ I think Ryan Coogler is one of the great storytellers that we have working today. The meeting I had with Nate Moore before I even got to chance to audition for Panther, and to see the level of knowledge, and just passion that he has for the whole universe, and for this project in particular … it’s in such good hands. I worked with Joe Robert Cole — he was one of our writers on The People vs. O.J. who co-writes with Ryan Coogler [on Panther]. Like, everyone is so good at what they do."
Shortly after the interview was posted online and the Rashad reveal became news, her name was deleted from Brown's quote; however, a cached version with Rashad's name still exists. Either way, the cat's already out of the bag.
As for Rashad, the Emmy-nominated actress is best known for portraying Clair Huxtable on the long-running NBC sitcom The Cosby Show (1984–1992). The 68-year-old is also an accomplished stage actress. Back in 2004, based on her performance in A Raisin in the Sun, Rashad became the first black actress to win aTony Award for Best Actress in a Play.
Furthermore, Rashad's addition to the cast shouldn't come as much of a surprise as she previously worked with its director, Ryan Coogler, on Creed — the Rocky-spinoff.
MORE: Sterling K. Brown Joins Black Panther / Danai Gurira Compares Black Panther Role To The Walking Dead's Michonne / Black Panther Filming Date Revealed / Black Panther Production Details / Marvel's Black Panther Casts Angela Bassett / Black Panther Working Title Revealed / Chadwick Boseman Teases We Might See Other Black Panthers
Black Panther has been an important character in the Marvel universe for 50 years. He is the king of the technologically-advanced nation of Wakanda, and Panther has served as a member of the Avengers in addition to his many solo adventures.
The cast features Chadwick Boseman (Captain America: Civil War) as T’Challa/Black Panther, Michael B. Jordan (Fantastic Four) as Erik Killmonger, Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead) as Okoye, Lupita Nyong’o (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) as Nakia, Angela Bassett (Green Lantern) as Ramonda, T'Challa's mother, and Forest Whitaker (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as Zuri. The cast also includes Daniel Kaluuya (Black Mirror) as W’Kabi, Winston Duke (Person of Interest) as M’Baku, Florence Kasumba (Captain America: Civil War) as Ayo, and Letitia Wright (Doctor Who) as Serita.
The film is being directed and co-written by Creed and Fruitvale Station filmmaker, Ryan Coogler, and production is expected to get underway this January.
Black Panther will slash into theaters on February 16, 2018.