While Captain America and Thor directly linked to the first Avengers, and The Winter Soldier set up the events of Age of Ultron, it looks like Black Panther will be a similar catalyst for Avengers: Infinity War. Most of our Marvel coverage this week stemmed from Entertainment Weekly’s latest issue, but while Doctor Strange has been bathing in the spotlight, Empire magazine dropped this Phase Three intel within its pages.
Via quotes found by CBM, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said of Black Panther:
It’s a big geo-political action adventure that focuses on the family and royal struggle of T’Challa in Wakanda, and what it means to be a king. T’Challa’s story is very important to us as it links to the next Avengers films, which is why we brought it forward.
It’s difficult to postulate how the film will lead into Infinity War, especially so early on, but the MCU head honcho further remarked how this character brings with him “all of Wakanda, which is a whole new setting and culture to explore.” At this point, the Avengers are well aware of Wakanda’s existence and the precious vibranium that originates there. However, the heroes will get a taste of its true treasure through the events of Captain America: Civil War — Chadwick Boseman will make his debut as Black Panther in the Russo brothers’ next outing before he spins off into his own movie on February 16th, 2018.
What will go down in Black Panther? Ernie Hudson has been rumored for the role of King T’Chaka, T’Challa’s father, but might Andy Serkis’ Ulysses Klaw factor in somehow? The notorious villain from the Black Panther comics has clearly been stealing vibranium from the nation. Would he be stupid enough to go back? Even if we look to Infinity War, we know next to nothing about the plot, except for the fact that it’ll very likely feature Thanos (Josh Brolin) as he gains control of the Infinity Stones and face an epic team-up of heroes. However, as we’ve seen with the MCU installments, each only loosely adapts the comic book arcs on which they’re based, electing to do their own thing.
In the meantime, Creed director Ryan Coogler is in talks to helm Black Panther, while Infinity War, Part 1 drops on May 4th, 2018, and Part 2 debuts on May 3rd, 2019.