The final MCU movie coming our way before the long-awaited Avengers: Infinity War lands in May is February’s Black Panther. Given how holistic the franchise usually is, it’d been assumed by fans that the film would do a bit of heavy-lifting to prepare audiences for the upcoming mega-crossover event. However, a Marvel producer has now played down these theories, claiming that Black Panther is mostly standalone.
As first reported by io9, producer Nate Moore said that it was a conscious decision by the studio to give director Ryan Coogler carte blanche to do what we wanted in Black Panther, rather than weigh the movie down with lots of set-up for future installments of the MCU. However, he did clarify that the film will still cause “ripples” for the franchise.
“We wanted to give Ryan the freedom to tell a story that wasn’t relying on other things that were happening in the MCU. Now that doesn’t mean what happens in the film won’t have ripples in the MCU, but the film itself isn’t relying on other plot points in the MCU.”
Chiefly, one big plot point that was expected to be addressed in Black Panther was the location of the final Infinity Stone to be accounted for: the Soul Stone. It was assumed that it’d be revealed to be hidden in Wakanda, thereby setting up a role for the fictional country in Infinity War (as seen in the trailer). Moore’s comments appear to nix these theories, though. That said, it’s still possible that the Stone could be unveiled in a post-credits scene, as he does talk about it causing ripples.
Alternatively, Moore might be referring to the big plans Marvel has for Black Panther and his supporting cast of characters. The producer has previously teased several more sequels and crossovers to come, so perhaps the film will set up these instead of Infinity War?
One way or another, our questions will soon be answered when Black Panther lands in theaters on February 16th.