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Marvel Preparing Black Panther for Standalone Film; 2014 Release Possible

Written by on June 5, 2012 

Not the radical political organization, unfortunately, but yet another superhero. Anyhow, LatinoReview have learned that Marvel Studios’ next origin story — something I, to no avail, hoped they would put to rest for a while — will focus on a character with a more urban bent: The Black Panther. I’m a little surprised at the choice, but this was apparently hinted at over the years — his (fictional) homeland of Wakanda showed up in Iron Man 2, while the content of Captain America’s shield, Vibranium, happens to hail from there — and Mark Bailey has already written a “fantastic” script. Some even suspect that Black Panther is the untitled Marvel entrey hitting in 2014; with no other projects (save for Ant-Man) being parlayed around, I’d buy that.

The character, also known as T’Challa, son of Panther Tribe chief King T’Chaka, is the possessor of incredible physical skills (such as acrobatics) and sensory capabilities that make him nearly impossible to defeat. That basic, surface information notwithstanding, perusing his Wikipedia page doesn’t ring a single bell in my comics-light mind — digression: my experience with the medium doesn’t involve many superheroes — so, unless I pick up some trade paperbacks over the next couple of years? I guess I’ll walk into this film pretty fresh. A good thing, I think.

Black Panther has some historical value, being the first major black character in mainstream comics, and the film should, concurrently, make him the first black lead in a major superhero film. (Unless you want to count Nick Fury as a lead, or if you consider Blade a) a superhero movie and b) “major.” Good luck with either argument.) We’ve heard nothing in regards to casting on the film, though I’d imagine such a significance would make him a pretty hot item for many an up-and-comer — get ready for rumors galore over the next few months. I know it’s reductive at this point, but let’s face it: Michael K. Williams needs to be mentioned in these talks.

Is Black Panther a smart move on Marvel’s part? What could make this character stand out?

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