One of the most exciting aspects of next year’s jam-packed Captain America: Civil War is that we’ll get to see Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther on screen for the first time. And recently, talking with Devin Faraci of Birth.Movies.Death, the studio’s head honcho Kevin Feige revealed some fascinating details about how the groundwork for the Wakandan hero’s introduction has already been laid by Avengers: Age of Ultron.
In Civil War, viewers will learn much more about Wakanda, a South African nation that is technologically and scientifically advanced past even the industrialized Western nations. Black Panther is also known there as T’Challa, the country’s prince, who is the latest in a long line of monarchs to defend his nation’s people under the mantle. It’s a traditional warrior role that has been passed down from generation to generation.
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Though he noted that he was wary of giving away any plot details, Feige explained that T’Challa will have already taken on the mantle of the Black Panther by the time he appears in Civil War, but “it is a role that he is still in the beginning phases of taking on, it’s a mantle he is only beginning to take on because his father is older.”
In some versions of the comic, T’Challa’s father – named T’Chaka – is killed, leading the Black Panther to go beyond Wakanda’s borders. We know that the Wakandan hero faces off with Captain America at some point in the pic, and some have speculated that he’ll be on the hunt for the Winter Soldier, who is responsible for the death of someone close to the Panther. Could T’Challa be on a mission of vengeance?
That much is still unclear, but Feige went into more detail about the reasons why Marvel chose to bring Black Panther into the fold for Civil War ahead of his own stand-alone movie:
“The reason we introduced him in Civil War is because we needed a third party. We needed fresh eyes who wasn’t embedded with the Avengers and who has a very different point of view than either Tony or Steve. We said, ‘We need somebody like Black Panther… why don’t we just use Black Panther?’ That’s how it went in the development process.”
Just because the Panther has “fresh eyes,” though, that doesn’t mean he’s completely out of the loop with regard to the events of the MCU. The Battle of New York has factored heavily into Phase Two, and the world is similarly disturbed by the destruction of Sokovia in Age of Ultron. Where to place blame for the cataclysmic event is a topic of much discussion – even in Wakanda. Feige said:
“Today, pre-Civil War, post-Ultron I think he and his father are saying, ‘A bunch of vibranium just got out of here and wreaked a lot of havoc. Maybe we can’t stay behind these borders anymore, maybe we have to stick our heads out and make at least an attempt to be a part of the rest of the world right now, while at the same time protecting our people.’ That’s sort of where we meet him in Civil War.”
It’s great to watch the events of some MCU films influence others, from Tony Stark’s Battle of New York-related PTSD in Iron Man 3 to the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, so it will be fascinating to watch people around the franchise’s world grapple with something as big as the destruction of an entire nation.
We’ll surely hear more about Captain America: Civil War around Comic-Con, but the pic opens May 6, 2016.