The world caught its first glimpse of Black Panther in the Captain America: Civil War trailer last week. While his presence in Cap's third outing was originally thought to be a mere cameo it turns out that he is to have a far bigger role. Marvel President Kevin Feige claims that the decision to flesh out his part came down to necessity; Black Panther will act as the third wheel to Iron Man and Captain America.
"We kept talking about ‘somebody like Black Panther..." Feige told Entertainment Weekly. "After the third or fourth time that came up in a development meeting, someone said, ‘Can’t we just do the Black Panther?’ And we all looked at each other and said, ‘Yeah, I guess we could.’ We introduce him here, give him an arc, and make him a full character. We don’t just give him a cameo, to wave. He has his own conflict and his own people that he’s looking out for.”
T'Challa, as he's known in the comics, assumes the Black Panther mantle from his father. Whoever adopts the title reigns as the ruler of Marvel's fictional African nation Wakanda. It's unknown how much of his origin will make it into Cap's movie, yet it's safe to say he'll make a lasting impression. "I think this is Black Panther in his younger years," says actor Chadwick Boseman. "Where he maybe is a little bit more fiery than I think how they write him in the comics because he’s very much in the nascent stages of being a hero."
“He’s someone who hasn’t necessarily made up his mind about either side and whose agenda isn’t exactly what Cap’s agenda or what Tony’s agenda is," executive producer Nate Moore added. "And I think that brings him into conflict weirdly with both characters at different times in the film. He is the prince of an African nation that has so far stayed very much sort of in the shadows. And eventually the film will draw him and his father out of the shadows.”
Catch Chadwick Boseman's debut as T'Challa in Captain America: Civil War on May 6 2016. His standalone movie is scheduled to open on November 6 2018.