Marvel Studios may seem to be doing no wrong when it comes to the box office, but if there’s one area where they have not been a roaring success, is in representing females and people of colour. Sure you have the Falcon and Black Widow (and you could maybe even argue The Hulk – green is a colour, right Gamora?), but the fact that we’re about to hit Phase 3 of the MCU and we’re still missing a couple of big minority names from their stable is a bit alarming.
Two of those names that have been called for by fans from the start are Black Panther and Captain Marvel, and according to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige those calls are not going unheeded. He explained to IGN how things are changing because of the fans’ demand.
“They’re both characters that we like, that development work has been done, it’s continuing to be done on, and certainly it’s the question I get asked more than anything else, more than Iron Man 4, more than Avengers 3. That’s sort of the first time that’s really happened to us, so I think that makes a difference. I think that’s something we have to pay attention to… I’ve always said we have our plan, and it’s served us very well, and there hasn’t been anything that has managed to deviate or change from that based on an opinion, because opinions online change and they alter, and they are based on limited information they have to what’s going on behind the scenes, but in this particular case I think it is a groundswell, and I think it means something substantial.”
I’m a bit conflicted about this news. On the one hand, getting the first proper confirmation that something around these characters are indeed in play is certainly heartening, but by the sound of things, it’s almost as if Marvel had no intention of bringing them to the big screen until the fans started kicking up a fuss. Sure Black Panther and Captain Marvel are not exactly household names like Captain America, but neither were Iron Man or Thor before they got their movies.
Also, its not as if some groundwork for their introduction hasn’t been done already. It’s explicitly stated in Captain America: The First Avenger that Cap’s shield is made out of vibranium, a metal found almost exclusively in Wakanda, the African nation that Black Panther rules over. Also, the Kree alien race (aka the race which Ronan from Guardians of the Galaxy belongs to) are the ones that inadvertently end up giving US Air Force Officer Carol Danvers powers and turning her into Captain Marvel (or Ms Marvel as she was originally called).
Marvel still have two more unfilled slots for 2017 on their recently revealed timetable, flanking Guardians of the Galaxy 2‘s July 28 spot. I wouldn’t be surprised if either Captain Marvel or Black Panther were to take the first space on May 5. I’ve previously guesstimated that the recently announced Inhumans movie would take the latter November 3 spot, but giving it to the remainder of the two would actually make a bit more sense. It’s a good bet that The Avengers 3 will be hitting on the next scheduled date of July 8, 2018, and this way both newcomers can show up in the inevitable battle against Thanos, having been introduced the previous year.
And with the whole overarching Thanos plot wrapped up then, bringing in the massive cast of the Inhumans with all their mythology to kick off Phase 4 on November 2, 2018 just seems perfectly logical. At least, that’s the way I would do it, but since when do billion dollar film studios listen to me? Probably not when I suggest they cast Chiwetel Ejiofor as Black Panther and Katee Sackhoff as Captain Marvel, but one can dream.
Last Updated: August 21, 2014