Ever since it was announced that Marvel would bring Black Panther to the big screen, fans have been eagerly waiting for any piece of news relating to the first black superhero lead. Now, with the upcoming release of Captain America: Civil War, fans are finally getting their first look at Black Panther himself, as the new superhero plays an integral role in the film which will serve as his introduction into the huge franchise. But fans don't just want to see Black Panther suiting up beside Captain America and Iron Man — they want to see him leading his own film. It will be years until Black Panther hits theaters — the script is currently still being written by co-writers Joe Robert Cole and Ryan Coogler, but exactly when does the Black Panther movie come out?
Black Panther is currently scheduled for release on Feb 16, 2018, though, as we all know, that date could always change. However, given Marvel's tight schedule for the next five years, I think it's safe to say that should the Black Panther release date change, it will only shift a few months, not years. The movie is set to go into production in early 2017 and is expected to be an origin story, though what exactly that means for the timeline of Marvel movies is unclear.
Other than the release date, not too much is known about Black Panther's solo film. But here's a roundup of what can be determined so far:
1. It Takes Place After Civil War (Probably)
When we first meet Black Panther in Civil War, (slight spoiler alert) it is as T'Challa, the Prince of Wakanda. But, according to actor Chadwick Boseman, T'Challa has already embraced his Black Panther alter-ego. "Yes, I am already a Black Panther — a Black Panther, yeah," Boseman said in an interview with ScreenRant. In that interview, Boseman described T'Challa as "a Black Panther" and the Prince of Wakanda. And, according to the plot summary on IMDB, Black Panther will find T'Challa "rise to take the mantle of the Black Panther after his father, the king, is treacherously killed." Taking both these pieces of information into account, it would appear that Black Panther will take place after the events of Civil War.
2. Martin Freeman & Andy Serkis Will Co-Star
Fans will remember that Andy Serkis was introduced as Ulysses Klaue, seller of Vibranium, a precious and strong metal found only in Wakanda, in Avengers: Age of Ultron. As for Martin Freeman, he'll make his Marvel debut as Everett Ross, a character from the Black Panther comics, in Civil War. Though Freeman is not yet listed on the IMDB credits for Black Panther, it's widely expected that he will appear in the film.
3. Ryan Coogler Is Directing
Fresh off the success of his film Creed, director and writer Ryan Coogler signed on to direct Black Panther. Coogler has promised to add a personal touch to the big budget movie, his first, telling HeyUGuys, "I grew very into pop culture, very into comic books, so it's something that is just as personal to me as the last couple of films I was able to make."
4. It Will Set Up Infinity War
Marvel Studio head Kevin Feige revealed that Marvel decided to move up a Black Panther movie because it would be crucial to both Infinity War movies. "T'Challa's story is very important to us as it links to the next Avengers films," he said in an interview with Empire.
5. It's Going To Wakanda
Black Panther will take place in the fictional African country of Wakanda. According to Marvel history, Wakanda is a very advanced nation, which leads the world in technology and science. It will be the first time a Marvel movie will be set (mostly) in a country that isn't the U.S., and, as Feige promised in his Empire interview, will also be the first time a Marvel movie does not feature a predominantly white cast.
Even though fans will have to wait until February of 2018 for Black Panther, they won't have to wait to get their superhero fix. Between Civil War and Black Panther, Marvel has plans to release three movies — Doctor Strange (Nov 4, 2016), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5, 2017), Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7, 2017), and Thor: Ragnarok (Nov 3, 2017). Superhero fans won't be in the lurch for long.
Images: Walt Disney Studios; Giphy (5)