Last October, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige officially confirmed a Black Panther film for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only was the comic book fan favorite confirmed for a Marvel Studios Phase 3 slate, actor Chadwick Boseman, who is set to portray the Wakandan King, was introduced on stage with Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) and Chris Evans (Captain America), strongly hinting his involvement with Captain America: Civil War.
Fast forward to February 2015: Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios announced together that Spider-Man will be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Months before this announcement, it was made known that the Black Panther would be making his debut in the third installment of Captain America, that his film was originally set for November 2017, and that his solo movie would be the lead way for Avengers: Infinity War Part 1.
With the news of the web-slinger joining the fray and also debuting in Civil War, you couldn’t help but pick your brain about Marvel Studios shaking things up now that their most popular character has returned home. And they did just that with Spider-Man’s release date slated for July 2017. This has resulted in a few Marvel films being pushed back, including Black Panther, which is now scheduled for a July 2018 release.
There is no doubt that Marvel Studios originally had huge plans for Black Panther, especially before the news of Spider-Man coming to the MCU. During the Marvel Media Day Phase 3 announcement, it seemed clear that Marvel Studios was really excited about bringing Panther to the big screen finally after years and years of development. Black Panther is well known to comic book fans as a character who many thought would never make it to the big screen. Captain America: Civil War would boost his popularity even more and make the Wakandan King a main event player in the MCU. The seeds have already been planted for his debut in Age Of Ultron. Even though he was not physically in the film, the Wakandan hero’s presence was felt by viewers.
During the film, the African nation is mentioned by Bruce Banner, and in an early attempt to stop Ultron, the Avengers are led to an African Shipyard ran by Ulysses Klaw, who makes his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as an illegal arms dealer (in the comics, Klaw is known for being a major thorn in Black Panther’s side). With Captain America: Civil War in production, images are popping up on the internet of an African setting. Knowing that the Black Panther is set to debut soon is awesome, but knowing that Spider-Man is also going show up sooner or later takes away the excitement for the Wakandan King’s debut.
He’s going to be the first black superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to get his own solo film. He’s also going to have a mystical power that’s very different from repulsor blasters, a magical hammer, or an indestructible shield. Finally, he’s a new character with a very interesting yet complex story. And if we’ve learned anything, it’s that Marvel Studios is known for tackling great stories and presenting them beautifully.
Last summer, Marvel Studios took a gamble and won big with Guardians of the Galaxy. That right there is proof enough that Marvel Studios doesn’t need Spider-Man. In terms of marketing, it does seem like a good idea to go with a character that the audience is familiar with, especially since Spider-Man is Marvel’s most popular superhero. Yes, in the comics, the web-slinger is the main ingredient to the story with the war between Captain America and Iron-Man, but this would have been a perfect opportunity for the Black Panther to be in this role.
Captain America: Civil War is set to be released next summer, so only time will tell as to what fate that Black Panther and Spider-Man will have in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
What do you think will happen with Black Panther and Spider-Man in the future of the MCU? Send us your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter.