Marvel Studios has dropped a series of massive announcements during a "mystery event" at the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles today, and among them is the long-awaited confirmation that Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will feature the King of Wakanda himself, Black Panther.
T'Challa will be played by newcomer Chadwick Boseman, who recently played James Brown in the biopic Get On Up and also played legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson in biographical sports drama 42. Black Panther joins the busy upcoming schedule of Marvel movies with a release date set for November 3rd, 2017.
The news was accompanied by some tantalizing concept art for Black Panther, created by regular Marvel artist Ryan Meinerding, which offers an idea of the costume that Boseman will eventually end up donning for the role.
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Black Panther is particularly notable for being the first black superhero ever to appear in a mainstream comic book superhero franchise, and his abilities include top-tier speed and agility and heightened senses, as well a genius-level intellect. In the comics he is the leader of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, which happens to be one of the very few places where it's possible to find vibranium, the metal used to make Captain America's shield.
Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige said that the recently released trailer for The Avengers: Age of Ultron contained an easter egg for Black Panther, which more or less confirms that Andy Serkis is indeed playing villain Ulysses Klaw, whose desire to obtain vibranium brings him into conflict with T'Challa.
You don't have to wait until 2017 to see Boseman suit up for the role. Feige also revealed that the character will make his first appearance in Captain America 3 (now officially titled Captain America: Civil War), which will release in theaters on May 6th 2016. Since the trailer for The Avengers: Age of Ultron showed Captain America's shield broken in half, it's possible that he'll run into T'Challa while trying to find the materials required to repair it.
Excited by this news? Tell us in the comments what you think of Marvel's casting choice for Black Panther, and how you think T'Challa will fit into the over-arching plot of the MCU.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters on May 1, 2015, followed by Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America: Civil War on May 6 2016, Doctor Strange on November 4, 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5, 2017, Thor: Ragnarok on July 28, 2017, Black Panther on November 3, 2017, Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1 on May 4, 2018, Captain Marvel on July 26, 2018, Inhumans on November 2, 2018 and Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2 on May 3, 2019.