With his father, King T’Chaka, dead -- having been murdered in Captain America: Civil War -- T'Challa returns home to take his rightful place as the ruler of Wakanda. But as it says in the trailer, "It is hard for a good man to be king," T'Challa will need a mentor to guide him.
And that's where Zuri, an elder stateman and a close friend to T’Chaka, comes in. He's played by Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), though you may not recognize him with his black-and-tan polka dot face paint.
In his younger days, he was a great Wakandan warrior, but now, he is more valuable and trusted adviser of the king -- dispensing knowledge and wisdom he has accrued over the decades. Ryan Coogler, the director and co-writer, likes to think of Zuri as Black Panther’s version of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
“He’s somewhat a religious figure or spiritual figure,” Coogler said of Zuri (via Entertainment Weekly). “Spirituality is something that exists in Wakanda in the comics, and it’s something we wanted to have elements of in the film. Forest’s character, more than anything, is a major tie-back to T’Challa’s father. Zuri is someone he looks to for guidance.”
After the events of Marvel's Captain America: Civil War, King T'Challa returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country's new leader. However, T'Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje,
The film stars Chadwick Boseman (Get on Up), Michael B. Jordan (Creed), Lupita
Additional cast members include Letitia Wright (Urban Hymn), Winston Duke (Modern Family), Florence Kasumba (Emerald City), Sterling K. Brown (The People v. O.J. Simpson) and John Kani (Coriolanus).
Ryan Coogler directs from a screenplay he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole.
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is in theaters now. Spider-Man: Homecoming lands on July 7, 2017, followed by Thor: Ragnarok on November 3, 2017. After that Black Panther debuts on February 16, 2018, while Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on May 4, 2018. Ant-Man and the Wasp