In his usual blustery, super hip-hop way, El Mayimbe of Latino Review spent the day pimping his upcoming Marvel film scoop, promising to reveal one of the unknown movies on their slate. While we have a good idea that one may be Ant-Man (which Edgar Wright has teased could start as early as this year), or the official (and inevitable) announcement of The Avengers 2, Marvel and Kevin Feige have teased and dodged a lot of information at this point.
Well, according to Latino Review’s scoop, it will be a Black Panther film that is next announced.
There’s an obvious heap of sense that shooting this movie makes, and I’ll not be surprised at all if this turns out to be true. Marvel has already started outright denying the news to anyone who asks, but that was expected no matter what LR’s scoop turned out to be. They’ve lied outright about villains and plot points that were later confirmed (almost all of The Avengers was picked apart and denied a year+ ago), and it almost makes it MORE convincing because Black Panther has decidedly not been in the films — Ant-Man, Runaways, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Inhumans — that Feige has mentioned. It’s entirely in their playbook to misdirect. And here’s the thing- if they don’t make it now, they’re going to make it soon. And if they don’t… they’re dumb.
You’ll also see plenty of mention of Wakanda’s inclusion of a map in Iron Man 2, and the Wakandan origin of the Vibranium from which Cap’s shield is made. To take that a step farther- let’s note that The Avengers features a very specific beat that seems — with this hindsight — especially designed to demonstrate/set a precedent for the power of the fictional African metal that is the primary resource of the African Marvel city.
As for the marketing strategy, if you think about it through- doing a Black Panther movie would allow Marvel to target a market of moviegoers under-serviced by superhero films and Hollywood in general. It’s kind of reductive to say they can go after the Tyler Perry (read: black) market with such a film, but it’s absolute true that they can take the broad pop leverage of the Avengers phenomenon and lock in a whole new segment of fans forever with a sharp Black Panther film. Recent films like Think Like A Man have shown you can make a film that revolves around Black protagonists and still have traditional crossover appeal (read: not scare off the white people and teenagers)- something I think Marvel could pull off very well.
But who could play the Wakandan? Please, there are a ton of great, obvious choices- Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Ealy, Nate Parker, and — my personal favorite — John Boyega. Seriously, fuck off… the kid is perfect, and his ties to Joe Cornish and Edgar Wright just make it all the more natural. It’s obvious because it’s correct.
So I’ll let you take over from here… Who do you see playing the Black Panther? What story might they tell? How could it collide with the Marvel Cinematic U? Let loose in the comments…