Black Panther actor Forest Whitaker says the upcoming Marvel movie will explore outer space. Joining an ensemble cast mainly consisting of acclaimed black actors, the Oscar-winner Whitaker costars in the film as Zuri: an elder statesman in Wakanda who is both a religious and spiritual figure. With his help, newly appointed king T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) will learn the ins and outs of not just being the nation's political leader, but also its protector.
Less than a month before fans get to see what director Ryan Coogler did with his own contribution to the extensive Marvel film library, anticipation continues to build for Black Panther. The movie's pre-release ticket sales are going well and even outpacing Captain America: Civil War, illustrating people's eagerness to see the film as soon as it hits theaters. Black Panther's box office projections are equally impressive, with the new film expected to nab $120 million during its opening weekend, outpacing even last year's Spider-Man: Homecoming (which pocketed $117 million on its first few days).
Sitting down with Variety to talk about Black Panther, Whitaker included a surprising reveal that has not been shared before with regard to the film. Not only will the Marvel movie explore the hidden nation of Wakanda, T'Challa's first solo outing will also venture to places outside of Earth, according to the actor:
“We’re gonna see not only travel things but things that take us into outer space and things that take us into the James Bond space. It’s a really unique amalgamation of different things that come together in an exciting way.”
With Wakanda poised to be the most technologically advanced country in the world, it's not difficult to imagine that Black Panther can explore the cosmos without any help from the Guardians of the Galaxy or even Thor. While it's certainly possible that T'Challa and is people are already working on venturing into outer space, narrative-wise, it stands to reason that this plot point will serve as part of the lead-in for Avengers: Infinity War and its sequel. We know that the South African nation will play a pivotal role in the former in particular, seeing as it's heavily featured in the Infinity War teaser trailer. It's quite possible that the scene in question is part of a mid or post-credits tag that directly sets up the next Avengers film.
Whether there's more to Black Panther's space exploration or not, Wakanda looks to play a major role in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Speculation points to the possibility that the last Infinity Gem, the Soul Stone, is secretly being kept in the country. This would put Wakanda and its people in grave danger, as we know that mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin) will stop at nothing to gather all six magical gems. For the most part, the franchise's scientific and mystical pockets have been kept separate, and it seems like, compared to what has come in the MCU before, the Coogler-directed film will go even further in bridging the gape between the two.
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