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Black Panther And The Future Of The MCU (OPINION)

Black Panther And The Future Of The MCU

With Black Panther earning over $1 billion dollars and becoming one of the top 10 domestic gross films in less than a month, it should be no surprise that Marvel Studios will be throwing its weight behind Wakanda as well as more diverse projects going forward. In a recent interview, Kevin Feige discusses crucial plot points of Avengers: Infinity War and plans for future Black Panther films.

That’s the grand Marvel Studios/MCU tradition of just being all in, right? All in on stuff we believe in, before the audience tells us what they think. You’ve heard us talk ad nauseam about the fact that we were in production on Avengers before either Thor or Captain America was released. Same thing with the whole third act of Infinity War being in Wakanda.

And as far as Wakanda’s role in the future goes

Anchor point is a good way of [describing] it, particularly as some of our other anchor points, Asgard for instance, are gone.

MCU’s future and representation

Yes. I think we’re seeing it shift from a very purposeful initiative to just a fact of life, to just a way of doing business. Then there are people we hired that we’re not ready to announce in all different capacities, particularly behind the camera. As Panther has so loudly declared, [representation] can only help you, can only help you tell unique stories, can only help you do things in a new, and unique, and fresh, and exciting way. If you do that, audiences will notice it, and appreciate it, and support it.

However the most important parts of this interview is their plan to most likely deviate from the traditional three movie format as far as Wakanda is concerned. 

I think there’s lots of potential. It’s a balance between leaving people wanting more and then giving them too much, but I would watch a movie about any of those characters you just named. I think Shuri’s astounding, and you’ll see much more of her in our universe. Okoye, I think I’d watch three action films just Okoye. I’m not saying we’re doing that, but I’m saying that we’re intrigued by them. Frankly, as I’ve said before, finishing these first 22 movies is really all we’re thinking about at this point.

One thing the interviewer does not press Feige hard on is the negotiations between Disney and Fox. At first all clues pointed at the deal being a given, especially with Fox rejecting a higher bid from Comcast. Fox even pushed back the release of their completed New Mutants film an entire year. But then recently Fox decided to announce that they’re going to release three Marvel films every year between now and 2021 starting with the upcoming Dark Phoenix film. This slate still includes the Gambit film that no one asked for and a newly announced Silver Surfer film. Fox is either trying to leverage some more money out of Disney or they’re simply hedging their bets in case their deals falls through. At this point I doubt announcing their schedule this far in advance is not them trying to compete with Disney for dating because at this point The Mouse can make money any month of the year.

MCU has more than enough badass women for a group, the demand for an A-Force film has only increased. And they could arguably start with a larger starting cast than the original Avengers lineup. So far there’s only three MCU films planned for 2019, one of which is the co-produced Spider-Man Homecoming sequel with Sony. There are nine films unnamed films planned from 2020-2022. We’re all familiar with how things can shift when a deal goes through like when Homecoming bumped Ragnarok and Black Panther. There’s no telling how the completion of the Fox deal will affect the current schedule but there are definitely parts that can be incorporated more quickly than others. And those parts being the villains. Because of the Fantastic Four and X-Men, many of the rights to space related things went to Fox. The Fox deal would open up more doors in that area, and it would also give by Doctor Doom which is more important than getting back the X-Men to many people. Black Panther is in need of foils and characters like Doom and Namor are perfect in that regard. Plus Doom has posed a threat to entire teams of Avengers and recently brought about the end of all things.

 

Wakanda looks like it will be the center of some interesting stories as far as the MCU is concerned. And Feige seems to be echoing fan interest of a Okoye related film. Nakia, Okoye, and the members of the Dora Milaje were a huge hit with audiences. A Midnight Angels or World of Wakanda film would probably be a smarter move at this point than a solo Black Widow film.

With the Skrulls being the main antagonist in Captain Marvel, it’s not a stretch to assume we’ll get a Secret Invasion film in the near future. And in case you didn’t read Jason Aaron’s Black Panther: Secret Invasion, it didn’t go too well for them. There’s also the possibility of Illuminati and Ultimates related films now that Danvers has been brought into the mix. Marvel has a habit of priming audiences for what may be in store for the future by using their animated and comic properties. For example, the most recent season of Avengers Assemble featured an Avengers team with the leadership roles split between Captain Marvel and Black Panther. And the next season will focus almost entirely on Black Panther. Marvel Studios has shown they’re very smart and whatever they have planned after 2019 will most likely be announced at this years D23 conference in Florida.

So what do you think? What are your thoughts on the future of the MCU? Sound off in the comments!