It just keeps getting better. After delivering two solid entries in 2015, Marvel Studios will be barreling towards their Phase 3 this year, and the Phase 3 films keep looking better. Director of Fruitvale Station and Creed, Ryan Coogler, has been confirmed to direct the ruler of Wakanda, Black Panther. After being rumored over the past months, Marvel has officially confirmed the news for the upcoming film. Black Panther will make his debut in this year’s Captain America: Civil War, though many elements in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have lead to this character’s inclusion.
The fictional African country of Wakanda was an easter egg on the map at the end of Iron Man 2; and the indestructible material known as Vibranium has been in the Marvel vernacular since Captain America’s shield was created from it in Captain America: The First Avenger. The ultimate lead into Black Panther came in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Not only is a major chunk of the movie set in Wakanda (the entire Hulk vs. Iron Man/Hulkbuster fight), but famed Black Panther villain Ulysses Klaw (Andy Serkis) was featured in the film.
Though the world of Wakanda looks great in Age of Ultron, though we can look forward to Serkis (maybe) returning as a villain, though we are all excited to see Chadwick Boseman own the role next year in Civil War, it is the man of the announcement that should have us all excited. Ryan Coogler is one of the best up and coming talent working today, and we live in an amazing world where this young filmmaker is going to make a Marvel film.
Creed was one of the best films of 2015, and in large part that was due to Coogler’s direction. The dramatic tension, the emotional heft, the lighter moments of comedy, it was all present in Creed. And of course, the action was beautifully shot and choreographed and it is exciting thinking that he is going to bring the same energy to Black Panther. The middle fight of Creed was confirmed to really be one long take, from backstage until the opponent went down. It is this type of immersive filmmaking that makes Black Panther my most anticipated Marvel film.
It’s hard not to be excited for Captain America: Civil War, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, and Thor: Ragnarok, but the origin stories of Phase 3 have just as much hype behind them. Whether it be Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, or Black Panther, Marvel Studios is proving that they have no problem defying expectations in Phase 3.
Starring Chadwick Boseman in the title role, Black Panther will be released on February 16, 2016.