Of all the movies planned for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther is one of the biggest. The movie will be the MCU’s first to star a person of colour in the title role, and the big question has been whether or not it will be able to live up to the hype. Fans have finally gotten their first peek at the forthcoming film, and things look like they’re shaping up nicely.
Those watching the 2017 NBA Finals might have noticed the first trailer for the movie during Game 4. It finally revealed the first real look at the home of the hero, the technologically advanced city of Wakanda, and the rest of the cast. The trailer has been positively received and racked up 89 million views in its first day. The numbers prove that audiences are definitely excited for the movie, and the trailer even eclipsed the number of views for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This puts it among the top three most-watched trailers for a Disney-released movie.
Black Panther was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain America: Civil War, and fans have been waiting for his star turn ever since. In Civil War, T’Challa (aka Black Panther) was a visiting diplomat from the African nation of Wakanda when his father is killed, causing Panther to team up with Iron Man in the hope of revenge. The new movie picks up where Civil War left off. The hero returns to his home nation as he mourns the loss of his father while seeking to solidify his tenuous grasp on power over the country.
The movie will be directed by Ryan Coogler, best known as the director of Fruitvale Station and Creed. Coogler seems like the perfect fit, and we think that the iconic hero should be in good hands for his turn in the cinematic spotlight. Chadwick Boseman (from Get On Up and 42) will play the titular hero T’Challa, while Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station, Creed) will be Erik Killmonger, a villain looking to usurp Black Panther’s role as the king of Wakanda. Lupita Nyong’o will also star as Nakia, a fierce warrior who serves as part of Black Panther’s security team. She’ll be joined by Angela Bassett (as T’Challa’s mother) and Forest Whitaker (as an elder statesman) to round out the all-star cast.
It’s about time that Marvel put a person of colour front and centre in the MCU. There’s been no shortage of black side-kicks (War Machine and Falcon), but we’ve never seen someone get the chance to step into the spotlight. Now that we’re finally going to see it happen in the movies, we’d also like to see Marvel do the same in its digital endeavours. The publisher has plenty of video games starring a number of its prominent heroes, but we’ve yet to see any of these video games star a person of colour. Marvel had previously used casual online games as a way of pushing some of its lesser known heroes to the public, but it looks as though the company is beginning to shy away from the casino genre. The change has many wondering how the change will affect the future of superhero slots, but with DC comics currently planning its own expansion in the field, it looks like there will still be plenty of heroes in the world of online gaming, just not from Marvel.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that Marvel is giving up on video games. It just means that it’s focusing on a different platform. The company has confirmed that Black Panther will be a playable character in its upcoming fighting game, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, along with several other popular heroes from the MCU. While it’s great to finally have Black Panther as part of the ensemble, we’d still like to see him get his own game.
There’s plenty of time for one to happen, and if the interest in the trailer is any indication then the movie is going to be a huge success. It would be a massive missed opportunity for Marvel not to capitalize on the hero so we hope to see much more of him between now and the film’s release. Black Panther will be in theatres February 16, 2018.