Raw Leiba, who had a minor role in last year’s Conan the Barbarian remake and a small part on HBO’s Game of Thrones, has suddenly become attached to two slow-developing but high-profile projects. The Geek Files has heard rumors that the actor and stuntman will appear in Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s Highlander remake and Marvel Studios’ Black Panther.
The Highlander project has Ryan Reynolds in the lead role, but other casting news appears to have gone quiet since. Vinnie Jones and Ray Stevenson have been rumored to be in the mix for the character Kurgan (played by Clancy Brown in the 1986 original), so Geek Files speculates Leiba could play Sean Connery’s role, the immortal Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez. But, given Leiba’s low profile and stunt background, he seems more suited for a smaller part.
The actor’s reps have not commented on his casting either way, but we’ll keep you posted when we hear more.
As for Black Panther, Leiba is attached to play Erik Killmonger, the Black Panther’s nemesis, who leads an uprising against him. Leiba bears a definite resemblance to the comic character, even if that big of a part would be a jump for the actor.
Marvel Studios is still waiting on Mark Bailey’s script for the film, which has no green light or production timetable. Given the studio’s recent commitments to films through 2015, it’s hard to imagine us seeing Black Panther before then.
Leiba’s next high-profile appearance will be in Dead Man Down, the crime thriller from Niels Arden Oplev (Swedish The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) starring Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace, due on April 3rd, 2012.