All The Major Casting Announcements From San Diego Comic-Con [SDCC 2016]
San Diego Comic-Con always offers a wealth of announcements for upcoming Marvel and DC movies and television shows, and this year might be the biggest one yet. With more comic book adaptations than ever, and studios diving deeper into the publishers' rosters of heroes and villains, there's a lot to keep up with, so we've rounded up all the major superhero casting announcements from this year's show.
Michael B. Jordan of Chronicle and Creed has been confirmed to be playing Erik Killmonger in the upcoming Black Panther movie. In the comics, Killmonger was originally a Wakandan named N'Jadaka who was exiled to America following his father's part in a failed coup. He returned as an adult with the goal of returning the country to its ancient ways and briefly took over as ruler when he defeated T'Challa in combat.
Lupito Nyong’o and Danai Gurira will be playing Nakia and Okoye members of the Dora Milaje, Black Panther's personal bodyguards. Introduced in Christopher Priest and Mark Texeira's run on the title, the Dora Milaje are raised to be "wives-in-training" for the Black Panther, but in modern times that aspect is largely ceremonial. However, while under the influence of Mephisto, T'Challa kissed Nakia, which led to her becoming obsessed with him.
Nakia was exiled from Wakanda after attempting to kill T'Challa's girlfriend Monica Lynne, and she was killed by the mad Reverend Achebe. Resurrected by Killmonger with enhanced powers, she was dubbed Malice after another former protege of the villain.
Okoye was Nakia's partner who later helped train her replacement, a street-smart girl from Chicago named Queen Divine Justice.
In Spider-Man: Homecoming news, sources in Hall H claimed that actress and singer Zendaya is playing Liz Allan, while Tony Revolori is playing Eugene "Flash" Thompson. Update: Director Jon Watts has since cleared up confusion on this score, confirming that Revolori is Flash, but Zendaya's character is called Michelle, as previously reported. Laura Harrier is playing Liz, and Jacob Batalon is playing Ned; presumably Liz Allan and Ned Leeds respectively.
Liz is most often portrayed as best friends to Mary Jane Watson. She dated Flash in high school, but later married Peter's best friend Harry Osborn. Ned was a reporter at the Daily Bugle who was brainwashed into assuming the villainous Hobgoblin identity, but here he appears to be another of Peter's classmates.
Flash Thompson was a classmate of Peter's, and is known for being his bully and tormentor during their teen years. As they both grew up, they put their past enmity behind them and became close friends. Flash later joined the army and was to sent to Iraq, where he lost both legs saving a fellow soldier from a hostile situation. As Agent Venom he became an Avenger and a Guardians of the Galaxy.
Marvel Studios also released promo art confirming the film's villain will be The Vulture, who was also briefly seen in the footage shown and is rumored to be played by Michael Keaton. The Vulture, AKA Adrian Toomes, was an old man who spent his entire life dedicated to his idea of an electromagnetic harness that could achieve flight and first turned to crime to get revenge on the business partner that drove him out of his own company.
In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 news, Elizabeth Debicki was confirmed to be playing the character Ayesha, described as the leader of a race known as The Sovereign. In the comics, Ayesha was also known as "Her" or "Kismet," and was The Enclave's second attempt to create a perfect human after Adam Warlock.
Perhaps the most shocking news of the weekend was the confirmation that Kurt Russell will indeed be playing Star-Lord's father, and that Star-Lord's father is... Ego The Living Planet. Ego is --- as the name implies --- a living planet that often clashes with Thor, The Fantastic Four and other cosmic entities such as Galactus.
Marvel also revealed Ego's costume, or rather the costume Kurt Russell will be wearing when Ego is human form. It is still unclear how The Living Planet will manifest a humanoid form and get busy with Peter Quill's mom.
Also confirmed for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 --- as per a Facebook post by director James Gunn --- is an increased role for Yondu's band of Ravager's.
The Ravagers are a big part of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 according to Gunn, and not just the henchmen of Yondu anymore. After Yondu let Quill off the hook at the end of the first film, a group of the Ravers have become “mutinous” and are led by Taserface (played by Chris Sullivan). Joining him are Kraglin (Sean Gunn), Wretch (Evan Jones), Half-Nut (Jimmy Urine), Brahl (Stephen Blackehart), Gef the Ravager (steve Agee), Oblo (Joe Fria), and Narblik (Terrence Rosemore).
The biggest news was saved for last as Marvel Studios welcomed Brie Larson to the stage, confirming the Academy Award winner will be playing Carol Danveres AKA Captain Marvel in the upcoming solo film. Carol started out as an ally to the original Captain Marvel and later gained Kree powers of her own becoming the hero Ms. Marvel. Through many strange and often regrettable adventures, she came out the other side as Marvel's most prominent female character; taking the name Captain Marvel as her own.
Among the TV casting announcements this weekend was the news that Gabriel Luna will play the Robbie Reyes incarnation of Ghost Rider in the upcoming season of Agents of SHIELD. Robbie Reyes was a street racer; while racing to earn money to look after his disabled brother Gabe, he was shot down by gangsters and resurrected by the spirit of his satanic murderer uncle Eli as the new Spirit of Vengeance.
Joe Dinicol will be playing Rory Regan AKA Ragman in the upcoming season of Arrow. Owner of the mystical Suit of Souls, Ragman punishes the guilty and absorbs them into the suit; he can also draw power from the souls that inhabit his outfit.
Chris Wood was cast in the second season of Supergirl in an unknown role, but he's rumoured to be playing Mon-El. An alien from the planet Daxam, Mon-El was a friend of Superboy's who was forced to spend one thousand years in the Phantom Zone due to his species deadly aversion to lead. He later joined the Legion of Super-Heroes, and with the last seasons of both The Flash and Supergirl hinting at the team's presence, it wouldn't be surprising if Mon-El showed up as their representative.
Lastly, although no casting announcements were made, it was confirmed that more members of the Justice Society of America would appear in the second season of Legends of Tomorrow, namely Stargirl, Doctor Mid-Nite and Obsidian.
Stargirl is the stepdaughter of the Golden Age hero Stripesy who took up the mantle of his mentor The Star Spangled Kid as an act of rebellion. Doctor Mid-Nite is a blind doctor with can see perfectly in the dark and wears special glasses to compensate. He also has a pet owl. Obsidian is the son of the original Green Lantern and has powers over shadows. Occassionaly portrayed as an unstable villain, Obsidian was one of DC's most prominent gay superheroes until he was retconned out of existence with The New 52.