Marvel Studio’s Phase 3 is about to kick off with the highly anticipated premiere of “Captain America: Civil War,” which will include the introduction of an iconic superhero from the comic books. While many know the name Black Panther, he’s taken a back seat to Spider-Man since it was announced the wall crawler would also make his debut in the upcoming film.
With Spider-Man getting his own standalone movie in Phase 3, "Black Panther" had to be rescheduled to accomodate. So, how will Marvel make up for turning the grand debut of its newest hero into a stepping stone on the way to more Spider-Man adventures in cinema? According to Marvel Studio’s president Kevin Feige, he’ll tie directly into the Avengers before their greatest battle yet.
Speaking to Empire Magazine, Feige revealed that, due to the new release date of “Black Panther,” the movie will drop roughly three months before the first installment in the climactic “Avengers: Infinity War” two-parter. As a result, he’ll be used to set up the high stakes of the main Marvel Cinematic Universe event.
“It’s a big geopolitical adventure that focuses on the family and royal struggle of T’Challa in Wakanda, and what it means to be a king,” Feige said (via The Hollywood Reporter). “T’Challa’s story is very important to us as it links to the next ‘Avengers’ films, which is why we brought it forward.”
In October of 2014, Marvel unveiled its lofty plans for its third phase of movies. Not only was “Civil War” announced, but the inclusion and introduction of Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, the Black Panther’s alter ego, was revealed as well. At the time, “Spider-Man” was off limits as he was owned entirely by Sony. However, thanks to a landmark deal cut between the two film studios, Spider-Man will come to life in the Marvel Cinematic Universe by way of actor Tom Holland in 2017. With the very popular character dominating the spotlight, he even displaced the standalone “Black Panther” movie’s release date. The African prince/king’s standalone movie was moved to fit “Spider-Man” in early and then again to include “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” putting its release at Feb. 16, 2018.
As fans will note, Black Panther isn’t exactly a cosmic-level superhero, meaning that any setup for the highly touted battle with Thanos (Josh Brolin) coming in ‘Infinity War” likely won’t be too on the nose. However, that leaves a mystery as to how the character’s standalone film will set up the “Infinity War.” As CinemaBlend notes, it’s possible that the character’s fictional African nation of Wakanda may play home to one of the two remaining Infinity Stones that need to be discovered at some point in the MCU’s Phase 3 before “Avengers: Infinity War” kicks off.