Marvel's Black Panther has an all-star cast of (mostly) black actors, who are playing some pretty iconic Marvel Comics characters. However, there was one addition to the cast that raised a lot of eyebrows - especially since we never got clear confirmation on who he was playing. That actor was This Is Us and The People vs. OJ Simpson star, Sterling K. Brown.
Black Panther is now in theaters, and the film proves that Brown was right to keep the secrecy surrounding his role in the film - because it is a pretty pivotal (and powerful) one. Read on below, if you want the SPOILERY details!
In Black Panther, Sterling K. Brown plays N'Jobu, King T'Chaka's brother. During the '90s era of T'Chaka's time as Black Panther, N'Jobu became a "War Dog," deep-cover Wakandan spies that ventured out into the world to keep tabs on what other socio-political events were unfolding.
In the film's surprising opening sequence, we see N'Jobu living in an the Oakland, California projects, planning some kind of mission with his assistant, James. The pair are interrupted by the clandestine arrival of T'Chaka / Black Panther and two Dora Milaje guards who have snuck into urban America.
N'Jobu reveals his connection to T'Chaka, but the happy reunion is cut short, when T'Chaka reveals that he has come to arrest N'Jobu for a great crime: helping Ulysses Klaue infiltrate Wakanda and steal a bunch of Vibranium. N'Jobu denies these claims entirely, until T'Chaka reveals another secret: "James" is also a Wakandan War Dog, who has been reporting back about N'Jobu's crimes.
N'Jobu passionately tries to explain that his intent was to end Wakanda's isolationist mandate and use its resources to help others, after being moved by the suffering of other black people all over the world. The emotional situation gets out of hand, and when N'Jobu makes a move to harm James, T'Chaka kills him, leaving his body in the projects in order to preserve Wakanda's secrecy.
Sins of the Father
Sterling K. Brown appears as N'Jobu once more in the film: furing a dream sequence where Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) is receiving the mystical herb treatment that will make him the new Black Panther. In the dream, Killmonger returns to his Oakland apartment, as we learn he was N'Jobu's son, seen in the first shot of the film playing basketball outside the projects, just before his father's death.
Reunited in this dream, N'Jobu and Erik have a powerful exchange, where the father tearfully laments the well-intentioned choices that have led his son down such a dark path. Erik vows to fulfill his father's mission of spreading Wakanda's tech and resources across the world, helping oppressed minorities get justice and prosperity for themselves. Needless to say, Killmonger's twisted vision doesn't come to pass.0comments
Black Panther is now in theaters. It will be followed by Avengers: Infinity War on May 4th, Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6th, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.