Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has confirmed that Black Panther's fictional African nation, Wakanda, will be an "anchor point" in the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward.
Black Panther has now become a proper box office smash hit. The film is already one of the all-time top 10 movies at the domestic box office, and is expected to break $1 billion worldwide over the weekend. It's a remarkable triumph for Marvel Studios, not least because the movie was unusually diverse - both in terms of cast and crew. Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther is clearly positioned to become one of the stars of the MCU's future, and it's notable that recent marketing for the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War has stressed its Wakanda-based scenes.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Feige agreed that Wakanda is becoming an "anchor point" in the MCU. Marvel believed in Black Panther, and deliberately set "the whole third act" of Infinity War in Wakanda. As Feige noted, new "anchor points" are necessary because so many of the others have been taken out of play. S.H.I.E.L.D. was shut down in the aftermath of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, for example, and then Asgard was destroyed in last year's Thor: Ragnarok.
Fans will hardly be surprised to hear that Wakanda is becoming so crucial a part of the MCU. As revealed in The Art of Black Panther, Marvel has envisioned the nation as the oldest civilization on Earth; it was founded a full 10,000 years ago by Bashenga, the first Black Panther. While empires have risen and fallen in the rest of the world, Wakanda's isolationist people have kept to themselves. They have developed science beyond anything seen in the rest of the MCU, largely based on the rare metal Vibranium.
But Black Panther ended with Wakanda accepting that the world needed their influence. T'Challa instituted a new Wakandan Outreach Program, one focused both on culture and the sharing of science. It's surely no coincidence that the trailer for Infinity War showed Tony Stark using a nanotech armor; his new suit was visibly reminiscent of the nanotech used by Shuri in Black Panther. In the time between Black Panther and Infinity War, Wakanda has shared some of the secrets of its science. The global balance of power in the MCU has changed, with science and technology now centered in Africa.
Given that's the case, it's hardly surprising that the Avengers will fall back to Wakanda for their final battle with Thanos and his armies. According to Feige, the entire third act of Infinity War will be set in Wakanda. No doubt Wakanda will suffer greatly for falling under Thanos's judgment, and the impact of Infinity War will ripple on into the sequel.
Source: Entertainment Weekly
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Untitled Avengers Movie (2019) release date: May 03, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019