Marvel Making 'Black Panther' Movie Before 'Guardians of the Galaxy'?
Marvel President Kevin Feige has said multiple times that the company has one unannounced film left for release in 2014. By mapping out the galaxy to some extent in Thor and having the villains in The Avengers come from space, we assumed that a Guardians of the Galaxy movie would be one of the next projects coming down the Marvel pipeline. But Latino Review has a scoop that takes things in a totally different direction. Their source says instead of going intergalactic, Marvel plans on staying on Earth and giving Black Panther, the first black superhero to appear in mainstream comics, his own movie! More below!
Hailing from the fictional African nation of Wakanda, T'Challa becomes king of his land and inherits the mantle of the Black Panther. Since I know an embarrassingly small amount of information about this superhero, I'll let Wikipedia take it from here:
The title "Black Panther" is a rank of office, chieftain of the Wakandan Panther Clan. As chieftain, the Panther is entitled to eat a special heart-shaped herb which, in addition to his mystical connection with the Wakandan Panther god, grants him superhumanly acute senses and increases his strength, speed, stamina, and agility to the peak of human development. He has since lost this connection and forged a new one with another unknown Panther deity, granting him augmented physical attributes as well as a resistance to magic. His senses are so powerful that he can pick up a prey's scent and memorize tens of thousands of individual ones.
He is a skilled hunter, tracker, strategist, politician, inventor, and scientist—he has a Ph.D. degree in physics from Oxford University. Considered one of the eight smartest people on the planet, he is a genius in physics and advanced technology, and is a brilliant inventor.
T'Challa is a rigorously trained gymnast and acrobat, showing mastery in various African martial arts as well as contemporary ones and fighting styles that belong to no known disciplines.
Even a quick look through Wikipedia's entry gives a ton of great information about the character, and it sounds like this would be a fantastic film if Marvel decides to go for it. Latino-Review points out that some clues have been placed in previous Marvel movies, laying the groundwork for an eventual Black Panther movie: the country of Wakanda appears on a map in Iron Man 2, and vibranium (the stuff Captain America's shield is made out of) first appeared in Wakanda in the comics. As for casting, there's only one guy that immediately comes to mind that has both the physicality and the intelligence required for this part, and that is Serenity villain Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Latino-Review's sources are generally pretty reliable (they have four different ones for this story), but we should still take this with a grain of salt until we hear some solid confirmation. I assume Marvel will make a big announcement (maybe even after denying the story at some point today) about their upcoming slate at Comic-Con next month, but they're notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to addressing rumors, so I doubt we'll hear anything official until then. In the meantime, let us know what you think about the idea of a Black Panther movie and sound off with your own fantasy casting in the comments below!