2017 marks the first time that three different Marvel Cinematic Universe films are releasing in theaters in a single year, including the Sony Pictures-backed Spider-Man: Homecoming. Marvel Studios will be stepping things up another notch in 2018 by releasing three MCU movies in a twelve-month period, all of them produced in-studio. Two of the 2018 MCU films are now officially in production: the Russo Brothers-helmed Avengers: Infinity War and the Black Panther solo movie, co-written and directed by Ryan Coogler of Fruitvale Station and Creed fame.
Marvel has now released an official synopsis and full cast list for Black Panther, confirming that Coogler’s MCU movie chronicles T’Challa/Black Panther’s (Chadwick Boseman) efforts to settle in as the new King of Wakanda – something that prompts his longtime enemies to emerge from the shadows, with the intention of destabilizing the newly-instated Wakandan ruler. The synopsis for Black Panther also teases that the film’s conflict places “the entire fate of Wakanda and the world at risk”; something that the latest update on the project’s production lends further support to.
Variety is reporting that Black Panther will be filming in the South Korean port city of Busan, a place that is home to several of the country’s better-known landmarks (such as, the Gwangan Bridge). The sequence being filmed in the country can fairly be dubbed a “big” one too, based on the description of said sequence provided by the South Korean production service company, Mr. Romance Film, to Variety:
“The shoot, which will involve some 150 cars and more than 700 people, is a car chase scene with the protagonist and the villain. It will also involve helicopter(s) and guns (firing blanks) and may cause noise as well as traffic restrictions.”
South Korea is no stranger to the MCU, having previously served as one of the backdrops in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Similar to Age of Ultron and last year’s Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther is described as being something of a globe-trotting action/thriller and has been summed up as a “big geo-political action adventure” by Marvel Studios’ head honcho, Kevin Feige. The majority of the film is still expected to take place in T’Challa’s African home country of Wakanda, but odds are that Busan won’t be the only city around the world that Black Panther’s big adventure takes him to.
The Busan chase sequence will naturally involve T’Challa, but it’s possible “the villain” mentioned in the Mr. Romance Film statement doesn’t refer to the film’s primary antagonist, Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). Marvel’s official cast list for Black Panther confirms that Andy Serkis is reprising his Age of Ultron role as the illegal arms dealer Ulysses Klaw/Klaue in Coogler’s movie, meaning that T’Challa might be battling the latter on his trip to South Korea. Guns are Ulysses’ speciality, after all, and it sounds as though the big chase in Busan will involve plenty of those.
It’s equally possible, however, that Killmonger and Ulysses are working together in Black Panther and that the chase in Busan involves a joint attack against T’Challa, orchestrated by the pair of them. With Killmonger holding a personal grudge against T’Challa and his family, it would only be sensible for him to join forces with another Wakandan criminal in his fight against T’Challa. Whoever’s leading the attack in Busan though, it sounds like this has the potential to be a chase sequence that matches and/or exceeds similar action scenes that we’ve seen in MCU films past (see Black Panther’s own “big chase” in Civil War).