- "Some truths are too much to bear, T'Challa."
- ―Zuri to T'Challa
Zuri was a Wakandan shaman and the trusted loyal adviser to his King. Having maintained T'Chaka's secrets over his handling of the death of N'Jobu in the past, Zuri continued supporting the King of Wakanda as T'Challa took over the throne in the wake of the death of T'Chaka. However when Erik Killmonger returned to Wakanda and challenged T'Challa for the throne of Wakanda, Zuri organized the ritual duel between the pair, only to sacrifice his own life in a desperate attempt to save his king, confessing to Killmonger that he was partly responsible for the death of Killmonger's father.
Working with N'JobuT'Chaka to stay with N'Jobu to keep an eye on him in Oakland. He posed as a man named James and worked with him when N'Jobu worked with Ulysses Klaue to deal out vibranium. When Wakanda was attacked by Klaue, T'Chaka came to N'Jobu and Zuri, knowing that it was N'Jobu who supplied Klaue with the information he needed to attack Wakanda. Zuri revealed that he was Wakandan and N'Jobu lashed out, pulling out his gun on Zuri. However, before N'Jobu could fire, T'Chaka killed his brother.
After T'Chaka's death, Zuri led T'Challa's coronation ceremony at Warrior Falls. Giving T'Challa the serum that nullified the powers of the Heart-Shaped Herb, Zuri asked if there were any warriors from the other tribes who wished to challenge. To their surprise, the Jabari Tribe, led by M'Baku, arrived to challenge T'Challa for the throne. T'Challa emerged victorious and Zuri proudly crowned him King.
After the escape of Ulysses Klaue, T'Challa confronted Zuri about his uncle's disappearance. Zuri swore to secrecy out of respect for T'Chaka before T'Challa furiously insisted he tell the truth. Reluctantly, Zuri told T'Challa of how T'Chaka killed N'Jobu to save him, and how they left his young son behind.
Sacrifice and Death
Zuri oversaw the duel between T'Challa and Erik Killmonger at Warrior Falls, once again feeding T'Challa the serum that removed his powers of the Black Panther. T'Challa took a severe beating from Killmonger, whom Zuri stopped from striking a killing blow. Zuri begged Killmonger to spare T'Challa's life, offering his own in his place as amendment for N'Jobu's death. Killmonger furiously impaled Zuri, who fell to the ground dead much to the horror of T'Challa.
To be added
- Expert Espionage: Zuri was able to hide the fact that he was from Wakanda from N'Jobu while he was in a undercovered mission to spy after him.
- Multilingualism: Zuri was fluent in his native language, Xhosa, as well as English.
- Spear of Bashenga: The Spear of Bashenga is the spear that Bashenga used during the war of the five tribes of Wakanda. Zuri equipped the spear while leading T'Challa's coronation ceremony at Warrior Falls. In another coronation of Erik Killmonger, Zuri disarmed him with the spear during the match.
- In the comics, Zuri was a friend and companion of King T'Chaka, and served as special attendant and warrior of his son T'Challa. He was also a good friend of Thor.
Behind the Scenes
- Director Ryan Coogler described Zuri as the "Black Panther's version of Obi-Wan Kenobi": "He's somewhat a religious figure or spiritual figure. 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."
- Kurt DeVille was a stunt double for Forest Whitaker in the role of Zuri.