Black Panther did not have the easiest of introductions earlier this year in Captain America: Civil War. As only the prince of Wakanda, he watched natives to his country die in an accidental bombing, his father die as part of conspiracy theory from Zemo, and then became involved in a fight between close friends because of his thirst for revenge. Even though this was the first chance audiences got to see of Black Panther, this was not his origin story. Instead, viewers who came out of Civil War and are eager to learn more about the superhero will have to wait until Black Panther.
Black Panther will mark the first black superhero-led movie within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Chadwick Boseman has proven early on he was the right choice for the role. He may now be the Black Panther as the leader of Wakanda, but Boseman is teasing that other Black Panthers could also make appearances in his solo film.
While speaking to Yahoo UK about his role in Civil War, Boseman was eventually asked about his solo film and the ways in which it will explore his character and the history of the Black Panther mantle. T'Challa explains in Civil War that this is a title passed down through generations and taken up by the king, which he now is. He is now teasing that audiences could see other Black Panthers appear as well.
“If you saw the tease at the end [of ‘Civil War’] in Wakanda, that’s more mystery there so I think there’s a lot to reveal about the character."
“There is definitely more of his origin in ‘Black Panther’. You’re going to learn about Wakanda, its culture, its traditions, the past. You can go through all the comic books and know that there’s more Panthers that have existed in the past - that’s origin.”
The Black Panther title has traditionally gone to the king of Wakanda, so other versions of the character would likely be tied to T'Challa's family tree. It is unclear how many of them are still alive at this time, but that does not mean that they will not still be shown. If they do show more of T'Challa's origin in Black Panther, then flashbacks could certainly be used to bring in T'Chaka or other kings as well. John Kani was only utilized in a few scenes in Civil War, so figuring out a way to bring him back in some capacity would not be too surprising.
If flashbacks are not used, another method that could be used is bringing in The Djalia: Plane of Wakandan Memory that is currently being utilized by Ta-Nehisi Coates in his Black Panther comics. Director Ryan Coogler has already confirmed that his comics are being used as an influence on the film, so The Djalia could definitely be adapted. This is a mental connection that people share, and with Black Panther traditionally using mystical practices to connect with Bast, the panther god, a similar approach could be used to bring back other Panthers. Just imagine the emotional scenes that Coogler would be able to get out of Boseman as he speaks to his father one more time. However it is used, it should be interesting for audiences to not only watch T'Challa embrace the mantle fully, but also explore the history of those that came before him.
Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming– July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Untitled Avengers – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.
Source: Yahoo UK