The Marvel Cinematic Universe is getting ever so more expansive. This past year alone a new iteration of Spider-Man (portrayed by Tom Holland) and Black Panther (portrayed by Chadwick Boseman) made their debuts in last summer’s smash Captain America: Civil War, as did Benedict Cumberbatch’s introduction to the fold in Doctor Strange. As the ambitious expansion continues, Marvel Studios revealed today that production is officially underway for Black Panther, the first standalone feature of Wakanda’s famed hero T’Challa. More importantly, the film is first feature in the Marvel canon to be populated by black talent, both behind and in front of the camera.
Ryan Coogler makes his superhero debut, both as director and co-writer of Black Panther; Coogler recently emerged onto the scene as the helmer of the critically admired Fruitvale Station and the Oscar nominated Creed – Joe Robert Cole (The People vs O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) also contributed to the screenplay. Black Panther will shoot in both Atlanta and South Korea. Marvel also revealed what looks like an official synopsis:
Black Panther follows T’Challa who, after the events of Captain America: Civil War, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to take his place as King. However, when an old enemy reappears on the radar, T’Challa’s mettle as King and Black Panther is tested when he is drawn into a conflict that puts the entire fate of Wakanda and the world at risk.
The character originated in Fantastic Four Vol. 1, Issue 52, first published in 1966.
Boseman, already a critical favorites thanks to acclaimed performances as Jackie Robinson in 42 and as James Brown in Get On Up (he will also headline the upcoming Thurgood Marshall bio Marshall later this year), is joined by an all-star cast, providing further expansion of the already dense Marvel Cinematic Universe. Creed star Michael B. Jordan (also a part of Fox’s Marvel brand in the ill-fated 2015 Fantastic Four reboot) co-stars, as does Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead), Angela Bassett (London Has Fallen), Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us) and Oscar winner Forest Whitaker (Arrival). Martin Freeman (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot), Andy Serkis (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and newcomer Winston Duke will also appear in the film.
Black Panther is set to hit theaters on February 16, 2018.