The tide of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is changing in a big way. The superhero-based film studio is currently in its third phase, beginning with "Captain America: Civil War" and will introduce new heroes such as Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, and a re-branded Spider-Man. Before we can become witness to an intergalactic battle in "Avengers 3," the South African hero known as Black Panther will star in his first solo outing.
With Marvel opting to avoid the origin story route with some of their newer characters, and the yet to be introduced, all that is left is to continue T’Challa’s story that ultimately began in "Civil War." Despite the fact that his standalone adventure won’t arrive for more than a year, the universe that Black Panther inhabits has had its groundwork laid out nicely. Easter egg nods in "Iron Man 2" to the meeting of Ulysses Klau in "Age of Ultron" have helped to low-key build the Wakandan warrior’s place among his would-be fellow Avengers. Additionally, the mid-credits button that appeared in "Civil War" is also a big step in showing audiences how much different "Black Panther" is in comparison to previous entries in the cinematic universe — including the cosmos and alternate realities.
There are not many young black filmmakers with the mainstream acclaim that Ryan Coogler has earned, and with only two features under his belt, his career speaks volumes on what can be achieved in Hollywood. "Fruitvale Station" was a well-put-together display of dramatic storytelling, even if it was a tragic true story. Coogler was able to bring out, arguably, the best performance of Michael B. Jordan’s career and successfully portray the late Oscar Grant as a loving son, boyfriend, and father despite his flaws. The Bay Area director repeated his success with last fall’s "Creed." The boxing drama, the seventh installment in the "Rocky" series, highlighted Coogler’s strengths, as well as his natural ability to play in a world that existed before his involvement.
Chadwick Boseman and Co.
It’s rare that the hype surrounding a character’s live-action performance and the reception that follows is equal. Boseman’s portrayal as the Prince-turned-King T’Challa destined to carry on the mantle of Black Panther is one of the rare cases where both criteria is met. Although the size of his role was limited to a supporting character, fans should not worry about Boseman headlining his own film as he did twice as Jackie Robinson in "42" and as James Brown in "Get on Up." Lining up nicely are the roles of T’Challa’s supporting cast. If the internet is to be believed, which it seldom is, then "Black Panther" will be composed of the returning Andy Serkis as Klau, Martin Freeman as Everett Ross from "Civil War," Lupita Nyong’o as a possible love interest, and the surprise announcement of Michael B. Jordan returning for his third outing with Coogler. Between the extreme popularity of the MCU and the growing heavyweight that is Ryan Coogler, a collective of this caliber is only natural.