Last week, Marvel dropped a surprise Black Panther trailer. Within minutes, the Internet had exploded with excitement, shot analyses, and a slew of theories about the few minutes of footage we’ve seen so far.
There was a lot happening in the latest trailer, but even though fans have already dissected every millisecond of film, Marvel has been careful to keep important plot points under wraps so far. The hype is real for this movie, and we still have months to go until its February release date.
All of that buzz also means that there are a lot of rumors floating around different websites. As with every MCU release so far, some of those whispers are true. Others are still just speculation and will stay a mystery until the movie hits theaters. A few of the rumors have already been confirmed, and there are others that we’re really, really hoping don’t turn out to be correct.
Below, we’re counting down 10 Black Panther Rumors Confirmed To Be True (And 5 We Hope Aren’t).
15 Confirmed: T’Challa is getting an upgraded suit
One of the most obvious things that the new trailer confirmed is that T’Challa will have a new suit. It looks like he’s gotten an upgraded version from the suit that appeared in Civil War. While there aren’t a lot of huge changes, the design looks a little sleeker, and there are dark purple highlights throughout the body of the suit.
The purple has been getting mixed reactions from fans so far, but there’s likely a reason for the addition of color. Purple has always been a royal color, so what better way to showcase the Black Panther’s royal roots?
However, his Civil War suit is still around, which will probably end up being an important plot point at some point in the movie. We’ll get to that later.
14 Confirmed: Klaw has a new weaponized arm
In Age of Ultron, Klaue had his arm severed by Ultron, leading comic readers to wonder if that meant the MCU would keep some elements of his villain origin story. In the comics, Klaue is “Klaw,” and builds himself a prosthetic sonic gun as a replacement for his missing hand.
The sonic gun is built with resources that he stole from Wakanda, and he’s one of Black Panther’s biggest adversaries.
We only got a glimpse of it in the new trailer, but now we know Klaw will have his weaponized arm in the MCU’s interpretation of Black Panther, too. It looks like a wrist cannon at first, but if you look at the scene frame by frame, you can see that the sonic cannon is actually coming out of his prosthetic hand.
13 Hopefully not: Other Avengers might show up
There have been rumors for awhile now that some of the other Avengers might make appearances in the Black Panther movie. It makes sense that this rumor would pop up often -- this is a shared universe, after all, and we’ve come to expect characters from other films to pop up in any MCU movie.
People especially think that Bucky will show up since he’s in cryostasis in Wakanda. If Bucky is there, we could probably expect Captain America to jet on over at some point.
However, in this case, the presence of the other Avengers might crowd the plot, and overshadow T’Challa’s story. We also have more world building to do in this film, since audiences have never seen Wakanda before. It would be better for the movie to focus on Black Panther’s story without too many other distractions.
12 Confirmed: The production design was inspired by afrofuturism
When the trailer first dropped, a lot of fans started making comparisons to Blade Runner. It’s clear that the filmmakers were influenced by that movie, but the production has also been heavily inspired by afrofuturism. For those who aren’t familiar with it, afrofuturism examines and reimagines the African diaspora through everything from science fiction to music.
The original Black Panther comics also took inspiration from this genre, and the term has been around since the nineties. While we’ve been able to see a lot of literature and music that’s been inspired by afrofuturism so far, this will still be the first time that a major motion picture has really brought afrofuturism to audiences.
Wakanda represented a chance to create a picture of a proud, independent African country unaffected by colonialism -- there was really no way afrofuturist influences wouldn’t make their way into the movie.
11 Confirmed: Killmonger will not be the main villain
Since Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger has gotten a decent amount of screen time in both Black Panther trailers so far, you could be forgiven for believing that he’ll be the main villain in this movie.
While he’ll probably be the overarching villain for the rest of Black Panther’s MCU storyline, he won’t be the main villain in February’s movie. That position goes to Klaw instead, who was also the main antagonist in the comics.
However, Killmonger will have his own suit, which the trailer confirmed with a shot of his suit materializing before a fight. Some fans are speculating that he stole T’Challa’s suit from Civil War, and others think that it’s the Golden Panther suit from the comics instead. We’ll have to wait to find out how he got it, but his suit will definitely make fights more interesting.
10 Hopefully not: We won't spend much time in Wakanda
We know that we'll finally be introduced to the world of Wakanda in Black Panther, but how much time will the movie spend there? Some fans are worried that Marvel might be baiting audiences with images of Wakanda before jetting T'Challa to countries like South Korea or the United States for the majority of the story.
It wouldn't be the first time that Marvel has hyped an aspect of one of its movies, only for fans to be disappointed once the movie actually hit theaters. Hollywood itself also doesn't have the greatest track record with movies centered on people of color.
With all of the money that has clearly been poured into making Wakanda visually stunning, we certainly hope that this rumor doesn't end up being true.
9 Confirmed: It’s a political movie
The MCU has explored a variety of different genres so far. We've seen everything from teen comedy with the latest Spider-Man to political thrillers with movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
For Black Panther, it looks like we’re returning to politics. With T’Chaka, T’Challa is stepping up to lead his country. Of course, whenever leadership changes, there are always challenges to the new authority.
Wakanda is also starting to be dragged into international politics, something the country has resisted for its entire history. We’ll get to explore the politics of what will be an entirely new country to most viewers. While there will definitely be plenty of action to keep the movie exciting, expect some political commentary as well.
8 Hopefully not: The movie is too long
In July, rumors started circulating on Twitter and Reddit that people had seen a version of Black Panther that was four hours long. Fans had mixed reactions -- some said that they would happily sit through a four hour Black Panther movie, while others were less than happy about it.
We highly doubt that this rumor ends up being true. Most first cuts are overly long, and any version of the movie that existed in July won’t be the same one that makes it to theaters next year.
It’s unlikely that Marvel would release a movie that long, since despite what fans online say, people won’t line up to spend that much time in the theater. Even if it’s not four hours long, we hope that the runtime doesn’t end up dragging on.
7 Confirmed: It will be influenced by Ta-Nehisi Coates’ arc of the comics
Back in 2015, Marvel excited fans when they announced that journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates would be writing an arc of the Black Panther comics. Coates is known for his thoughtful opinion pieces on race and politics, as well as his bestselling memoir, so people were excited to see what he did with the character. His arc was so popular that it inspired two spinoffs.
It apparently also inspired Panther director Ryan Coogler, who said that movie will definitely be inspired by Coates’ imagining of the character. He was heavily inspired by Africa’s pre-colonial history, along with more recent events like America’s Civil Rights Movement and the rise of ISIS.
That goes along with the rumor of the movie being political, since Coates’ Black Panther sees himself as more politician than superhero.
6 Confirmed: T’Chaka will return in flashbacks
T’Challa’s father, King T’Chaka, was killed in Captain America: Civil War. Although the movie is focusing on the current Black Panther, we know that the former king will reappear in at least one flashback in the February movie.
Although we’re not sure how much screen time he’ll have, actor John Kani is listed as appearing in the movie on IMDb. There is also a listing for a different actor, who will be playing Young T’Chaka.
This could be to provide more of a history of Wakanda for viewers who didn’t read the comics, or just to give some of T’Challa’s backstory. There also might be a very creative way for us to see these flashbacks, which we’ll explain more in depth below.
This is one confirmed rumor that just invites more speculation.
5 Hopefully not: Nick Fury won't appear
It seems like a crime to film a Black Panther movie without the MCU's most recognizable black character -- Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson. Not only has Fury been a main fixture of many of the movies in the first two phases of the MCU, Black Panther seems to have called upon almost every high-profile black actor in Hollywood for this movie. How could you possibly leave out Samuel L. Jackson of all people?
However, Jackson has said that not only will he not appear in Black Panther, he won't be in Infinity War, either. We're still holding out hope that his claims that he won't be in Black Panther are a way to hide a plot point, which would not be unheard of. Even if he's not in the main film, we'd be satisfied with a short end credits scene.
4 Confirmed: We’ll get to see the Djalia
A split second scene in the new trailer showed us T’Challa walking through gorgeous, mystical scenery. There’s a lot of purple in this scene as well, matching the addition of purple to his suit for this movie and continuing with the royal scene.
This is likely the Djalia, which was one of Coates’ additions to the Black Panther universe. This is a fantastical realm that exists outside of the normal planes of time and space. It’s like a mix of Wakandan memory and an afterlife.
It also might be where T’Chaka makes an appearance in the movie. We don’t know why T’Challa is there yet, but that shot is already causing fans to make a lot of Lion King comparisons.
3 Confirmed: Women are playing a huge part in the movie
Although superhero movies have been dominating the box office for years now, most of those blockbuster movies still focus on men. With the exception of characters like Black Widow -- who still doesn’t have her own movie, although even Ant-Man has one -- women are still side characters or love interests. D.C. showed up Marvel by making Wonder Woman and making a woman the main focus of a movie.
Black Panther, however, will see women playing a huge part. T’Challa has an all-female security team, the Dora Milaje, and they’re already knocking people down a peg in the two trailers that have been released so far.
Plus, with heavyweight talent like Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, and Danai Gurira, among others, the movie will have the most women of color of any superhero movie ever.
2 Hopefully not: Other Black Panthers will show up
T’Chaka and T’Challa, of course, haven’t been the only ones to put on the Black Panther suit. Unlike the other superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the role of Black Panther is passed down from ruler to ruler in Wakanda.
The country’s advanced technology means that they’ve had the ability to create suits like these decades before Tony Stark ever even thought about becoming Iron Man.
However, that also means that other Black Panthers could make an appearance in this movie. As cool as it would be to see multiple heroes in one scene, it could potentially hurt the focus of the movie. T’Challa is the Black Panther right now, and the movie should focus on him instead of having too wide a focus.
1 Confirmed: There will be a show-stopping fight in South Korea
Back in February, a few news outlets reported that Black Panther would be shooting a huge chase scene in Busan, South Korea. Both the teaser trailer and the full length trailer have given a bit of footage from this scene, where we can see signs written in Korean and a few distinctive geographical markers as Klaw chases down T’Challa in a car.
One of the local production companies reported that the scene would involve 150 cars, 700 people, and helicopters. We’d expect nothing less from a scene that already looks great with just a few glimpses of action.
Now, fans are left to speculate what would bring T’Challa and Klaw to South Korea in the first place. We don’t have details yet, but we know that we won’t be spending the entirety of the movie in Wakanda.
We still have four months to go before the film arrives, and there are sure to be more rumors between now and then. Is there a rumor you're hoping will turn out to be true?
Black Panther arrives in theaters February 16, 2018.