Instead of leaving us all speculating on the possible inclusion of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver appearing in Avengers 2, Joss Whedon pretty much confirmed their appearance in the movie. In an interview with IGN, he had this to say when asked about his statement regarding the brother/sister duo:
“You know, they had a rough beginning. They’re interesting to me because they sort of represent the part of the world that wouldn’t necessarily agree with The Avengers. So they’re not there to make things easier. I’m not putting any characters in the movie that will make things easier.”
That’s what I like about Joss Whedon. The man doesn’t beat around the bush. He’s willing to trust us with information instead of hiding it like the entire franchise could fall apart if we knew about two characters joining the Avengers’ roster, which is why we nerds/geeks love him so. I also like that he wants to introduce even more potential in-fighting with the team since the presence of two mutants will force the issue of how mutants factor into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and how that will play into the interactions between the characters. Whedon talks about Wanda and Pietro in terms of how they perceive the Avengers, so one can imagine it’s not going to be all sunshine and roses!
And with that out of the way, it’s time to address another ongoing rumor regarding one of Marvel’s more prominent black characters, Black Panther. Since the word “Go!” on the Marvel movies, Black Panther has been a character that always pops up on the short list of heroes deserving of a solo film. And with good reason. T’Challa is the chief of the various tribes of the technologically advanced African country of Wakanda. The mantle of Black Panther is a ceremonial title with the costume used as a symbol for the head of state as well as ceremonial garb for diplomatic summits. It also makes for a pretty awesome superhero outfit when visiting New York. Plus, diplomatic immunity! Though Wakanda is a hidden society, it’s important to the Marvel Universe due to it’s monopoly on vibranium, which many a fanboy and fangirl knows is the substance from which Cap’s shield is made. So, yeah, T’Challa and Wakanda are kind of a big deal. There was actually a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot in Iron Man 2 of Africa that seems to indicate Wakanda has been identified on the map, but it’s a theory at best.
What’s important, though, are the continuing rumors that Black Panther will make an appearance in Avengers 2. The rumors seem to be holding a lot more weight since actor Morris Chestnut tweeted back in April about needing to “get familiar with the Black Panther character.” Even though the rumor was quickly squashed, it was enough to get our attention. Though nothing else has been said regarding casting, there’s no shortage of lists on the interwebs of actors who could potentially play the role. Top contenders appear to be Aldis Hodge (Leverage), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost, The Bourne Identity, The Mummy Returns), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity), Chadwick Boseman (42), and Djimon Hounsou (Amistad, Constantine, Blood Diamond). Any of these guys I could see playing the role in very different ways, so it’s definitely exciting to think about!
The most recent rumor comes from Bleeding Cool, who’re reporting that the Chairman of Cape Town, South Africa’s film studios, Anant Singh, revealed that Marvel Studios have shown some interest in filming scenes in Cape Town for Avengers 2. Again, this is still rumor and speculation, so grain of salt, you know the drill. But if that is the case, then it’s looking more and more likely that T’Challa could, at the very least, make an appearance in the film. This is promising because it not only expands Marvel’s cast of characters, but also adds to the cinematic universe’s growing level of diversity. So far we’ve only had James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) prominently representing black heroes, though we have the minor roles of Heimdall (Idris Elba) in Thor and Gabe Jones (Derek Luke) in Captain America building a larger cast of diverse characters. It’s still a boys club, don’t get me wrong, but that’s an article for another day. The inclusion of T’Challa and Anthony Mackie’s soon-to-be-featured Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier would give Marvel yet another leg up over DC and their minimal cast of black characters. So far it’s just Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) and Perry White (Laurence Fishburne).
So, fingers crossed that T’Challa shows up in the rotating roster of Avengers, which could easily lead to a solo film if he’s received well by the movie-going public!