'Avengers: Infinity War's Letitia Wright on Playing The Smartest Character in The MCU

Avengers: Infinity War star Letitia Wright is proud to play Shuri, who is being touted as the smartest character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Wright, who debuted as the 16-year-old Wakandan genius in Black Panther earlier this year, said it's refreshing to be portraying a character of African descent who is positioned so highly.

"I think that's really cool," Wright told ABC Radio. "Because, you know, we sometimes — when we see people who are 'super intelligent' and 'super smart,' they don't really look like me. Do you know what I mean?"

"So, to have that is really, really cool," Wright explained, adding: "and [for] Marvel to be behind it and to be brave enough to say, 'She is the smartest girl in the universe — in the Marvel Universe' and 'Yes, she's younger than everyone… Her and Peter Parker are pretty much the smartest kids on the block.'"

During a 2017 visit to the Black Panther set, producer Nate Moore revealed to ComicBook.com Shuri was even smarter than premiere genius Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.):

"As far as the technologically advanced side, in our mind and in our incarnation, Shuri is the head of the Wakandan design group. So she is, in our mind, the smartest person in the world," Moore told us.

"Smarter than Tony Stark, but she is a 16 year old girl, which we thought was really interesting. Again, black faces in positions of power, or positions of technological know how, that's a rarity. So it's something that a big part of the film."

Elevating such characters and people of color is "really brave and cool," Wright told ABC Radio, without revealing any secrets from the film — like how Shuri's bright mind will help save the universe as it comes under threat by alien warmonger Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his acolytes, the Black Order, and an invading alien army known as Outriders.

In a recently released Infinity War clip, Shuri is seen tending to the wounded Avenger known as the Vision (Paul Bettany), outwitting even big-brained scientist Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo).

In February, Wright told Variety what it was about Shuri that drew the 24-year-old actress to the Marvel role:

"On the page, she was really intelligent. She was so far from the stereotypes that we see all the time," Wright said.


"She likes science and she's super cool as well. I really liked the fact that she was smart and different; she can be an inspiration. In the comic books, she becomes a Black Panther. She's a queen in her own right. It's just a phenomenal part. A cartoon drawing brought to life."

Wright returns alongside Black Panther co-stars Chadwick Boseman (T'Challa), Danai Gurira (Okoye), and Winston Duke (M'Baku) in Avengers: Infinity War, out April 27.