Over the weekend, another rumor concerning Marvel Studios’ plans for their “Phase Three,” the cycle of films due after 2015’s The Avengers 2. Latino Review’s El Mayimbe tweeted out the following concerning a possible movie featuring superhero Black Panther –
I have in my possession a grid that shows THE BLACK PANTHER is shooting next year. Getting confirmation. Me thinks AVENGERS 2 cameo 1st. RT
— Umberto Gonzalez (@elmayimbe) May 10, 2013
We’ve been down this road before and we don’t believe this for a minute and not just because of who is saying it. (Though admittedly, that is a big part of it.) Logically, it doesn’t seem right for two reasons.
Firstly, it doesn’t seem to fit with what we know about Marvel’s production/release cycle. The studio has settled into a nice groove in terms of the production and release of their films. Films shot in one calendar year are released in the next. The Avengers was shot in 2011 and released in 2012. Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World were shot last year for release this year. Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians Of The Galaxy are both set to film this year in order to hit theaters in 2014, while The Avengers 2 and the first Phase Three film Ant-Man will film in 2014 for their announced 2015 release dates. As long as Marvel keeps releasing just two films per year, the earliest a Black Panther film will come out is around April/May 2016, which would put it in production in early 2015. But I don’t think we’ll see a potential Black Panther film then.
And that brings me to my second point, when exactly will Marvel roll out a Black Panther film. Now we know that Marvel’s Kevin Feige has stated that Black Panther is one of the characters that they are looking at for a possible film in Phase Three. But so are Doctor Strange and more recently Blade and Ms. Marvel. But I am of the opinion that in Phase Three, Marvel will have to mix established franchise films in with the new ones they hope to launch. So while we will be getting Ant-Man and probably at least one other new hero in Phase Three, we will also be getting more installments featuring Iron Man (negotiations with Robert Downey Jr permitting), Captain America, Thor, the Hulk or the Guardians of the Galaxy.
But I would think that part of that mixing would entail some sort of alternating between new and established franchises. Would Marvel want to roll out of The Avengers 2 into two films debuting characters the general public might not be very familiar with, if at all, even if they do make appearances in the Avengers sequel? I think that first 2016 slot will be filled with an established franchise installment, pushing the earliest we will see Black Panther to the fall of 2016. And if that is indeed the case, I see no reason for Marvel to have the film in front of cameras during 2014.
So for me, this doesn’t add up. The only thing El Mayimbe has going in his favor is the possibility that Marvel will indeed one day greenlight a Black Panther film. But he won’t be right by virtue of some hidden source within Marvel but instead by the dint of inevitability.