A lot changes in two weeks. Time travel back ten days or so and you’re thinking, wow, Warner Bros. and DC are really trying to show up Marvel with a long tail game and interconnected universe announcement. They’re also going to have the first modern female and African-American-led superhero films, with “Wonder Woman” and Cyborg respectively. Well, that was last week, and Marvel revealed their own game-changing plan today. While “Wonder Woman” (2017) will still beat “Captain Marvel” (2018) to screens, Marvel’s “Black Panther” will be the first African American-fronted superhero movie since the “Blade” trilogy, but that was really another era.
Marvel revealed earlier today that Chadwick Boseman—who was among some of the early rumored names for the part—has been cast as Black Panther, aka T’Challa, the prince of the fictional African nation Wakanda (which has already shown up as an Easter Egg in previous Marvel movies on global maps). And we’re going to see a lot of him. We learned this afternoon that Black Panther’s first appearance will be in “Captain America 3,” aka the newly titled “Captain America: Civil War,” but Deadline revealed that Boseman has been locked into a five picture deal, which makes sense given the contracts Marvel usually makes with their actors.
Presumably, he’ll be part of the new “Avengers” team that Kevin Feige has been hinting at. After “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” it appears that the team will splinter into two warring camps, led by Tony Stark and Captain America, in the Civil War.
“Black Panther and all of Wakanda is one of the most interesting characters in Marvel history,” Feige said earlier today. “Something I already showed you today contains an Easter egg that leads directly into ‘Black Panther.’ He’s a bit of a prince, he may even become a bit of a king, but it’s all about how this isolationist country meets the world. Maybe it goes well, maybe it doesn’t.”
“I’m blessed to be a part of this Marvel Universe, and to work with you both, and I look forward to making magic together,” Boseman said after taking the stage with both Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans.
A man of color leading a superhero movie is great, now the question is, will they be as homogenous as some of Marvel’s movies has become? Or will they be rough around the edges and surprising like “Guardians Of The Galaxy”? Marvel’s likely earned your trust at this point, but I suppose that also depends on what you thought of ‘Guardians’ (personally, I felt it was just another formula of irreverence, but that’s just me). Deadline also adds that it will be the Captain Marvel character, not yet cast, that unites “The Avengers” universe with the interstellar one depicted in “Guardians Of The Galaxy.” Always universe-building this bunch. But while Ms. Marvel will get her own solo movie, the more grounded Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, likely won’t. At least not any time soon. But we will see her onscreen quite a bit.
“Black Widow couldn’t be more important as an Avenger, but like Hulk, the Avengers films will be the films where they play a primary role,” Feige said. “Her part in ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ is very, very big and further develops her character. The plans we have for her through the rest of the Avengers saga are very big and she is a linchpin, in fact, to those films. So instead of taking her out there or doing a prequel which we haven’t done yet, we’re continuing the forward momentum of the continuity of the Cinematic Universe, of which Widow is a key part.”
“Black Panther” is set to hit theaters on November 2, 2017. We’ll first see the character in “Captain America: Civil War” on May 06, 2016.