Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) was introduced on the big screen to audiences in Joe and Anthony Russo’s Captain America: Civil War, and the ultimate result of that introduction is a lot of anticipation for the Wakandan king/superhero’s standalone film in 2018. There’s a lot to be excited about here, and not only because of Marvel’s superbly successful handling of the relatively unknown character, as far as general audiences are concerned. With Boseman serving as the capable anchor for the cast, and with accomplished writer/director Ryan Coogler at the helm, Black Panther could be Marvel’s crowning sociocultural achievement.
In an episode of The Empire Film Podcast (via Comicbook.com), both the Russo Brothers and Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige stopped by to chat about Captain America: Civil War and all of the decisions that went into the making of the film. The conversation with Feige eventually turned to Black Panther and its increasingly excellent cast, one which will also feature Oscar-winning Kenyan actor Lupita Nyong’o and superstar-in-the-making Michael B. Jordan.
Here’s what Feige had to say:
“That will be amongst the best ensembles we’ve ever had and 90% of the cast is either African or African-American.”
Clearly it’s not much in the way of plot details, but there’s a lot you can infer from this brief statement. One can assume that the plot will unfold in the nation of Wakanda where Black Panther, a.k.a. T’Challa, and his allies fight back against enemies who seek to supplant them from their rightful ruling position. And though much of the cast or their roles has yet to be announced, you can expect to see some familiar faces from elsewhere in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As for that remaining 10%, I would be surprised if Martin Freeman’s Everett K. Ross didn’t make an appearance as well. Maybe we’ll even see Andy Serkis’ Ulysses Klaue make a return.
It’s great that Marvel will be releasing a film that not only has an African superhero as a lead character, but is honest to the story’s setting with respect to its cast. This should be common sense; unfortunately common sense takes a while to work its way through Hollywood culture. Feige commented on that idea as follows:
“It’s a step that Marvel took many years ago in the comics, as well. It felt like it’s more than time to do that in the movies.”
In February of 2018, fans everywhere will be able to see this idea come to life. There’s much more from Feige and the Russos on the podcast episode, including a tease as to where and when we might next see Bucky and Black Widow, so be sure to take a listen to the two-hour interview.
For more on Black Panther, take a look at some of our recent coverage below:
- ‘Black Panther': Michael B. Jordan Retaming with Ryan Coogler for Marvel’s Most Exciting Film Yet
- Watch Our 1-Hour Q&A with ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Directors Joe & Anthony Russo
- ‘Black Panther’: Lupita Nyong’o in Talks to Join Cast
- ‘Captain America: Civil War': Joe & Anthony Russo Explain Black Panther’s Superpowers
- Why Black Panther Is The Most Exciting Character in the MCU