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Wait, Is Black Panther Going Into Space? Here's What Forest Whitaker Says

Forest Whitaker as Zuri in Black Panther

Although T'Challa and his allies will be traveling for a bit in Black Panther, the majority of the movie will take place in Wakanda, a nation with such advanced technology and a unique culture that it doesn't remotely feel like any other Earth-set location previously shown in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Nevertheless, like many of the other movies in this franchise, Black Panther has been expected to be an Earthbound story, but according to Forest Whitaker, who plays elder statesman Zuri, apparently some moments will take place in space. Here's what the actor recently said while talking about his experience working on Black Panther:

We're gonna see not only tribal things, but things that take us into outer space and things that take us into the James Bond space. It's a really unique amalgamation of different things that come together in an exciting way.

There's no denying that Wakanda's impressive technology looks like it came from an alien planet, but until now, there's been no indication that Black Panther would show any scenes set away from Earth. But Forest Whitaker's comment to Variety seemingly indicates that at least a portion of the movie will be heading out to the stars. However, even with this reveal, I wouldn't start placing bets on T'Challa battling Erik Killmonger aboard a Wakandan spaceship. We'll still be hanging out in Wakanda for the majority of this MCU outing, and this "outer space" element that Whitaker mentioned presumably won't take up a lot of time.

One possibility for how Black Panther goes into "outer space" is by showing the origin of vibranium, the rare metal native to Wakanda. In the comics, vibranium was deposited on Earth via a meteorite that crashed 10,000 years ago, so perhaps there will be a flashback showing a similar moment in Black Panther and the Wakandan natives soon stumbling upon vibranium for the first time. We also can't discount the theory floating around that the final Infinity Stone, a.k.a. the Soul Stone, will be officially introduced in Black Panther. With Black Panther being the final Marvel movie before Avengers: Infinity War, perhaps showing how the Soul Stone ended up in Wakanda will be how T'Challa's standalone movie fits in that cosmic vibe, subsequently setting that final piece into place for Thanos and The Black Order invasion of Earth just three months later (for us).

Taking place shortly after Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther will see T'Challa embracing his new duties as Wakanda's king. However, the monarch will soon find himself challenged by Erik Killmonger and Ulysses Klaue, two of his great enemies from the comics who are conspiring to overthrow his kingdom. With the help of the Dora Milaje, Everett Ross and other allies, T'Challa will need to work fast to prevent these villains from starting a world war.

Black Panther hits theaters on February 16, and we'll reunite with T'Challa and Wakanda's inhabitants when Avengers: Infinity War arrives on May 4.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.