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Black Panther is making his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut next year as one of the participants in Captain America: Civil War, but two years later, he’ll be starring in his own movie. While Black Panther will obviously show what T’Challa is up to when not battling other superheroes, as well as possibly delve into key moments in his past, few details have been revealed about what the movie will be about. Now we have a better idea of what to expect from Black Panther, and much of it will revolve around T’Challa’s challenges as the king of Wakanda.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige made it clear to Empire (via CBM) that Black Panther is an important entry in the MCU, providing audiences a "whole new setting and culture to explore" through Wakanda, while also connecting to the upcoming Avengers movies. Feige said:
It's a big geo-political action adventure that focuses on the family and royal struggle of T'Challa in Wakanda, and what is means to be a king. T'Challa's story is very important to us as it links to the next Avengers films, which is why we brought it forward.
When Captain America: Civil War kicks off, Black Panther will be the prince of Wakanda, but if events go down as theyh do in the comics, it’s expected that a tragedy will fall on his father T’Chaka in either Civil War or Black Panther, leaving T’Challa to inherit the throne. Ruling over a country isn’t easy, and on top of that, T’Challa also must continue fulfilling his duties as the Black Panther, the country’s main defender. Needless to say that’s a lot on his shoulders. As for Wakanda itself, all we know about it so far is that it’s one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world and has a massive supply of vibranium, making it a target for those looking to get their hands on the rare metal.
Kevin Feige’s comment about Black Panther linking to the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War movies is also curious given how massive in scale those will be. At one point, Black Panther was scheduled to be released after Avengers: Infinity War Part I, following the addition of Ant-Man and the Wasp to Marvel’s slate, T’Challa’s solo adventure was moved to February 2018, three months before the Infinity War begins. Since Black Panther isn’t a cosmic hero, it’s extremely unlikely he’ll have any interaction with Thanos. That said, there are two Infinity Stones left to be introduced in the MCU, and with the Time Stone feeling like a better fit for a movie like Doctor Strange, that leaves the Soul Stone, on the off chance that doesn’t appear in Thor: Ragnarok or Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Perhaps Black Panther’s villain, be it Ulysses Klaue or someone else, knows the Soul Stone is hidden somewhere in Wakanda, and it’s up to T’Challa to stop this adversary from abusing its power.
Black Panther hits theaters on February 16, 2018.