Director and writer Ryan Coogler has officially begun production on Black Panther today, according to Marvel Studios. The highly anticipated follow-up to the Wakandan king’s debut in Captain America: Civil War will film both in Pinewood Studios in Atlanta and in South Korea. The film is part of the MCU’s third phase, which the company states is committed to introducing audiences to new and more diverse heroes over nine films.
From the official press release:
Black Panther follows T’Challa who, after the events of “Captain America: Civil War,” returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to take his place as King. However, when an old enemy reappears on the radar, T’Challa’s mettle as King and Black Panther is tested when he is drawn into a conflict that puts the entire fate of Wakanda and the world at risk.
Black Panther is overflowing with a star-studded cast, including Chadwick Boseman (Captain America: Civil War), Michael B. Jordan (Fantastic Four), Academy Award® winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave), Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead), Martin Freeman (The Hobbit), Daniel Kaluuya (Sicario), along with Academy Award® nominee Angela Bassett (American Horror Story), Academy Award® winner Forest Whitaker (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), and Andy Serkis (Avengers: Age of Ultron).
While the plot synopsis is rather thin (and says nothing of Sebastian Stan’s Bucky playing a role), the inclusion of Andy Serkis’ villainous Ultron character Ulysses Klaue is a pretty good indicator we’ll be dealing with him or his supervillain alter-ego Klaw. One of Black Panther’s arch enemies, it’s a fair bet Klaw is the “old enemy” who will reappear in T’Challa’s life. Not that this knowledge gives away much in the way of plot, as the MCU is well known for bending the source material. Originally, Klaw killed T’Challa’s father but as T’Chaka was killed in Captain America: Civil War there will have to be some other impetus as to the enmity between Black Panther and Klaw. My guess? It will have something to do with Klaw and his Vibranium super weapon that he wants to sell to the highest bidder. That would definitely put the whole world at risk. But Marvel could take it any number of ways. Serkis’ character could even be a red herring set up specifically to draw the attention of comic fans away from whatever the true plot will be. We’ll just have to wait and see!
Black Panther arrives in theaters on February 16, 2018.