Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is building up to the ultimate showdown against Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, but along the way, audiences are going to be introduced to several new characters that could eventually take the torch from the original Phase 1 crew. Among these additions is Black Panther, who made his MCU debut in this summer’s Captain America: Civil War. Played by Chadwick Boseman, T’Challa made a strong first impression, and many viewers are now excited for his solo vehicle – which is due in theaters February 2018. Marvel has assembled an all-star cast for Black Panther, as Boseman is joined by the likes of Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, and Forest Whitaker (among others).
The film was briefly featured during the studio’s Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic-Con 2016, but no footage was shown since director Ryan Coogler had yet to begin shooting. That will change soon however; those anxious to see the country of Wakanda brought to life will be pleased to hear that principal photography is scheduled to start in a matter of months – just over a year before the movie’s premiere.
Per a post on Tammy Smith Casting (hat tip Omega Underground) looking for extras, Black Panther will commence filming in January 2017 and run through May of that year. As has become customary for Marvel movies, production is said to take place in Atlanta and the greater Atlanta area. A number of their most recent installments, including Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have been filmed in the city at the Pinewood Studios facility. This production timeline means that Coogler should wrap the first phase of shooting nine months before the release date, which should be plenty of time to handle all the post-production responsibilities.
The casting call specifically states that Marvel is seeking people to populate Wakanda, suggesting that Black Panther’s home nation will be the primary setting of the movie. This isn’t surprising, considering that crafting the fictional nation has been a point of emphasis for Coogler and co-writer Joe Robert Cole while penning the script. It will be interesting to see what the creative team comes up with. Wakanda was hinted at during one of the post-credits scenes from Civil War, but Coogler essentially has the leeway to mold the country to his liking, which is obviously a significant task given what Black Panther represents for the MCU as a whole. This is the first film in the franchise headlined by an African-American protagonist, so it’s important to get everything “right.”
Plot details for the film have largely been kept under wraps, but some information has been revealed over the past few months. At SDCC, Nyong’o teased that the story involves a power struggle in Wakanda as Black Panther is threatened by two enemies. Additionally, Cole stated that it picks up after Civil War chronologically, meaning fans will get to see T’Challa assume command of Wakanda following the death of his father. With little known about Black Panther, there will be great interest in following production, as any leaked set photos or videos could shed some more light on the narrative.