Marvel Studios Black Panther has clawed its way to the top of the box office charts week after week (it may even challenge Disney’s other big film, A Wrinkle In Time, for #1 this weekend) and has become a critical success and a cultural phenomenon. The film was in development for years before finally moving forward with Ryan Coogler at the helm and one of Marvel Studios deepest casts and finally fully introducing us to Wakanda, a location that had been teased in a few films dating all the way back to Iron Man 2.
The nation of Wakanda, now exposed to the world for the first time, will be a central location in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War, as seen in the film’s first trailer and in an interview with EW, Kevin Feige talked explained that while the plan to showcase the small nation in the studios next blockbuster may have seem like a gamble, it was one everyone was backing:
That’s the grand Marvel Studios/MCU tradition of just being all in, right? All in on stuff we believe in, before the audience tells us what they think. You’ve heard us talk ad nauseam about the fact that we were in production on Avengers before either Thor or Captain America was released. Same thing with the whole third act of Infinity War being in Wakanda.
Feige went on to explain that in the absence of some other key characters and locations, that Wakanda would play an important role not only in Infinity War, but in the future as well, calling it an “anchor point” to pay attention to “particularly as some of our other anchor points, Asgard for instance, are gone.”
Of course that statement, along with the enormous financial success of the film (it is expected to break the $1B mark globally this weekend), means that a sequel has to be in the works and Feige confirmed that it was:
Nothing specific to reveal, other than to say we absolutely will do that. One of the favorite pastimes at Marvel Studios is sitting around on a Part One and talking and dreaming about what we would do in a Part Two. There have been plenty of those conversations as we were putting together the first Black Panther. We have ideas and a pretty solid direction on where we want to head with the second one.
The lack of details about the film should hardly be surprising given Feige’s continued insistence that the studios’ current slate of films (Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and The Wasp, Captain Marvel, Avengers 4 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3) are all he’s focused on (he also maintains in the interview that he has NOT begun making plans for any of the IPs Disney hopes to acquire in their pending merger with Fox). That having been said, it’s not surprising that they’ve decided to move forward and it’s highly likely that we’ll see a Black Panther sequel on one of 6 reserved dates recently set by Marvel Studios. Unfortunately, until Feige lets us know what they have in store, all we can do is think about how great the eventual T’Challa/Namor showdown will be!
Black Panther is in theaters around the world now!