Marvel Studios' Phase 3 of its Shared Movie Universe is now officially confirmed to introduce several comic book characters to the big screen. That includes Captain Marvel and Black Panther, two superheroes who will bring some needed diversity to the Avengers movie team roster. Indeed, Marvel Studios has already begun to reap the PR benefits from the announcement, with a little assistance from Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.).
RDJ is now getting paid more than ever for his contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe onscreen. He also continues to earn that big paycheck offscreen, having praised Marvel films like Guardians of the Galaxy (which Downey Jr. didn't appear in) and then offered substantial food for thought while talking up Avengers: Age of Ultron. The actor helped to get Marvel's Film Universe up and running, but he might be an equally important part of the MCU in Phase 3 as he was in Phase 1 & 2.
CBR caught up with RDJ at the 2014 BAFTA LA Jaguar Britannia Awards last week, and asked the actor how it felt to be a key player in Marvel Studios' forthcoming slate of film releases on through to 2019. He replied:
"It's great, and I love it. But being able to have Chadwick Boseman be announced for playing Black Panther, and that Marvel is going to have a female superhero – it's those things that it would have started creating an imbalance, I think, in just what's appropriate and right and feels like what the people deserve. And so I just think that Marvel has turned into this very kind of civilized, forward-thinking company, and it's just joyful to be a part of that."
Tony Stark, as was reported a few weeks ago, will play an important role in the first Phase 3 installment, Captain America: Civil War, which is among the Phase 3 films that will payoff story threads that've been building over the course of several Phase 1 & 2 movies now (see also: Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1 & 2). However, such upcoming solo Marvel character vehicles as Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and Doctor Strange will not just be relevant to the larger story being told, but also setting up the future of the MCU after the current Avengers roster has finally completed its run.
Adding such folk as Carol Danvers and T'Challa will, as RDJ put it, also help to avoid "creating an imbalance" in future Marvel movies, in terms of diversity among the main players. Chadwick Boseman is an acclaimed rising star in his own right; as was pointed out during a recent Screen Rant Underground Podcast episode, Boseman has gotten his pick of roles based on real-life people lately, including the baseball legend Jackie Robinson in 42 and music icon James Brown in Get on Up.
UPDATE: CBR caught up with Boseman over the weekend, and the actor offered the following insight, on the subject of black superheroes and comic book characters onscreen:
"It's never been done. It's been done before in different ways, but it's never been done exactly like this. Wesley Snipes also had his own franchise [with 'Blade'] -- you have to acknowledge that. You have to acknowledge what [Anthony] Mackie's doing [with the Falcon]. But this is a little different in the way that Marvel is presenting it, so it's amazing."
Boseman, when he spoke at the 2014 Contenders event at the DGA Theater on Sunset Blvd., he noted (via Deadline) that "[T'Challa] is not based on a real guy, but maybe I can find him in my ether." The actor has demonstrated a chameleon-like ability to disappear in his movie roles, so it'll be all the more interesting to see his take on a multi-faceted fictional characters such as Black Panther now. If nothing else, Boseman (as a casting choice) will add more flavor to the larger MCU acting ensemble.
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, Captain Marvel on July 26, 2018, Inhumans on November 2, 2018, Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 on May 4, 2018 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 on May 3, 2019.