The latest bit of speculation to hit the internet regarding Joss Whedon’s highly anticipated Avengers: Age of Ultron comes to us courtesy of Nerd Reactor, who thinks that 42 star Chadwick Boseman may be showing up as Black Panther in the film.
Black Panther is one of the most prominent minority superheroes and in the comic books, he is most often depicted as the ruler of the fictional African country, Wakanda. Nerd Reactor quotes a report from Devin Faraci of Badass Digest, who says that the plot of the new Avengers film will involve the titular villain Ultron building his armor out of the material vibranium (the same material that Captain America’s shield is made out of), which he gets from Wakanda. So presumably, that’s how Panther will tie in.
Frankly, it’s about time the Black Panther made an appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Marvel movies, and really superhero films in general, are seriously lacking in diversity, and as one of the most popular minority superheroes, Black Panther makes a lot sense as a new addition to the MCU. If the character is well-received in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel Studios will certainly look to produce a spin-off solo film for him as well.
Boseman, meanwhile, is an actor on the rise. In addition to the Jackie Robinson biopic 42, he has another biopic releasing shortly, Get On Up, in which he plays legendary soul singer James Brown. Appearing in the sequel to one of the most popular blockbuster films in recent memory would be a great profile boost for the actor, and I think that he would fit in quite nicely with the already star-studded cast. In fact, when asked by Black Tree TV about his involvement with the character at the recent Draft Day premiere, the actor didn’t flat out deny anything (as you can see in the video below). So perhaps there’s a chance that these rumors have some truth to them?
Avengers: Age of Ultron is currently set for a May 2015 release. Robert Downey, Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson are all set to return, alongside newcomers Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, and James Spader.