Black Panther debuts as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – but when will the sequel hit theaters? We break down when the follow-up to Ryan Coogler's Marvel movie, Black Panther 2, may release based on the current Marvel Studios slate.
Chadwick Boseman made his MCU debut as T'Challa, aka Black Panther, in 2016's Captain America: Civil War. Now, Black Panther hits just before Avengers: Infinity War, setting the stage for what's to coming in the MCU, while also serving as a critically acclaimed standalone film. The mid- and post-credits scenes work to tease Infinity War - though they don't reveal where the final Infinity Stone, the Soul Stone, is - but they also set the stage for a Black Panther sequel. Of course, Marvel hasn't confirmed Black Panther 2 - yet - but we break down when it may premiere.
As the MCU slate currently stands, the last film on the docket is the untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel, which is due to hit theaters in July 2019, but if Marvel Studios continues releasing three movies a year, then they may debut another film in 2019 (Avengers 4 is set to premiere earlier that year). We know Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is also coming, and though it doesn't have a confirmed release date, writer-director James Gunn indicated it would premiere in 2020. Unfortunately, it's highly unlikely Black Panther 2 would arrive in late 2019 since that is an incredibly short turnaround, so 2020 or early 2021 are more likely candidates.
Typically, Marvel Studios' quickest turnaround time is almost exactly two years between installments in a single franchise. Iron Man 2 was released two years after Iron Man; the Homecoming sequel will arrive exactly two years after its predecessor. However, because Marvel is balancing so many standalone series within their overarching MCU, three years is more typical in between entries of solo series - this is the case for both Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man.
With that said, Avengers 4 is expected to wrap up the stories of a number of characters who lead their own standalone franchises, which will pave the way for new superheros to lead their own solo series. Of course, there's still a number of characters expected to receive further movie installments in Phase 4. A Doctor Strange sequel hasn't been announced but seems likely, as well as a second Captain Marvel film and a third Ant-Man movie. Plus, a Black Widow movie is in the works, but doesn't yet have a release date.
Unfortunately, Marvel Studios is keeping much of their planned slate of upcoming movies beyond Avengers 4 under wraps. We do know Marvel has 20 movies planned for after the release of their Phase 3 capper, and we can predict many of them thanks to the studio often greenlighting sequels and threequels. However, when exactly the movies will release is more difficult to predict. In the case of Black Panther, it also depends on the schedule of Ryan Coogler, who Marvel wants to return as director; he has another film, Wrong Answer, currently in the works. Still, Black Panther 2 will likely arrive in 2020 or 2021, unless Marvel Studios prioritizes other movies over the sequel so Boseman's solo outing.
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