Marvel Studios may have mapped out their increasingly-ambitious plans for the MCU on both the big screen and Disney Plus for Phase Four, but they’re playing their cards a lot closer to the chest for what happens next. Phase Five seems likely to include Captain Marvel 2, Ant-Man 3, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Deadpool 3, Blade and others, but the only movie to have an official release date so far is Black Panther 2, which is set to hit theaters in May 2022.
Ryan Coogler’s sequel is one of the most highly-anticipated projects on the MCU’s horizon after the character’s solo debut captured the public imagination, earning over $1.3 billion at the box office and becoming the first comic book movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. There’s a lot of pressure on Black Panther 2 to hit the same heights as its predecessor then, something the creative team and Marvel boss Kevin Feige will be keenly aware of.
There’s been a lot of speculation recently that Shuri was being lined up to take up the mantle of Black Panther at some point in the future, which allegedly hasn’t been sitting well with star Chadwick Boseman, but as of yet, no official plot details have been revealed. However, we’ve now heard from our sources – the same ones that told us Taskmaster would be the villain in Black Widow months before it was confirmed, and also said that She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel shows were coming to Disney Plus – that the filmmakers behind Black Panther 2 have decided on who’ll be the follow-up’s big bad.
According to our intel, the studio have reportedly settled on Namor as the major antagonist, supported by some secondary bad guys similar to how Ulysses Klaue played second fiddle to Killmonger in the first installment. Much like the Hulk, the distribution rights to Namor are owned by Universal, so presumably Marvel Studios can use the character as they see fit, as long as he isn’t the main attraction.
Our sources also hinted that the plot could see the Wakandans polluting the seas, unaware that Atlantis lies underneath, which causes Namor to take action. Not only does that give the story a topical environmental angle, but it possibly even ties in with the news we reported on in October that T’Challa’s next adventure could end up being subtitled Lost Kingdom, which many saw as a not-so-subtle hint that Atlantis was set to play a major role in Black Panther 2.