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Killmonger and T'Challa

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is an ever changing place, as the massive franchise recently celebrated a decade of filmmaking. The MCU has changed quite a bit since its inception, growing focused on a variety of characters, and often relying heavily on comedic moments. While the Phase One largely focused on white male characters, the shared universe has become an increasingly diverse place.

Phase Three is the most obvious example of this, as the blockbusters began featuring more people of color, women, and possibly even an LGBT character. Plus, those projects like Black Panther and Ant-Man and The Wasp have proven extremely successful with audiences. Marvel Studio head Kevin Feige recently spoke to the focus on telling inclusive stories in the future, saying:

[Black Panther] is the beginning. That it worked out as well as it worked out has encouraged us to head in the direction we were going to head in anyway. But you look at that film, it is incredible. That movie would not have been what it was if everyone sitting at the table looked like you or me. And that is true for all the movies. As Marvel Studios has grown, it is the same thing, almost half-man and half-woman. That may become more women in the coming years based on the newest team members who continue to grow. We try to grow and promote in house. Almost everyone who has worked here for many years. And people who are going to produce some of our next films came in below the people producing the films now. I very much believe in that. When you have diverse voices, you get better stories and you get more exciting stories, you get more surprising stories. And that is something that is very clear.

In addition to giving Marvel audiences the chance to feel seen and represented in the media, diversity in the shared universe is positively affecting the quality of the films. And with the MCU showing no signs of slowing down, new perspective and surprising stories are exactly what Kevin Feige is looking for.

Kevin Feige's comments to Variety's Playback podcast show how the head of Marvel Studios is thinking about the MCU through a variety of different lenses. When making creative decisions about the MCU's future, Feige must weigh what the studio wants with fan expectations, and make a ton of money in the process. And after the insane success of projects like Black Panther, it's clear that Marvels' future is bound to be inclusive.

Black Panther was a record-breaking moment in film history, as it featured mostly black talent both in front of and behind the camera. It's a movie that made a ton of money, while also garnering glowing critical reviews and awards chatter. The residents of Wakanda came back in a major way in Avengers: Infinity War, so smart money says that the MCU is going to feature T'Challa's world plenty in the post-Endgame world.

Black Panther will presumably return to the MCU when Avengers: Endgame arrives in theaters on April 26th, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

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