Rumor has it that Marvel was screen testing for a Black Panther movie on Saturday.
On Sunday night, a writer from the Latino Review posted an Instagram photo of what appeared to be the schedule for a Black Panther movie screen test.
Black Panther is Marvel’s first and most famous black superhero, hailing from the fictional African country of Wakanda, which plays a significant role in the Marvel universe. Marvel Studios mastermind Kevin Feige confirmed last year that a Black Panther movie is “in development,” but this is the first indication that it might be happening for real.
However, while a Black Panther movie seems almost certain to happen in the next few years, the paperwork in this photo is most likely a hoax. Why? Well, first of all, it doesn’t really make sense for Marvel Studios to be emblazoning their top-secret screen tests with a ready-made logo for the eventual movie. Secondly, that Black Panther logo appears to have come from a fan’s deviantART page, where they have also posted various mocked-up title screens for other Marvel properties that might make it to the big screen.
The complexity of Marvel’s ever-expanding cinematic universe sometimes leaves fans confused, partly because there are so many rumors floating around. Over the past month or so, many people have started passing around images that appear to list all the titles in Marvel’s “Phase 3,” the story arc that will come after Avengers: Age of Ultron.
— Kyle Willard (@Kylewillard) May 3, 2014
Just to be clear, all of those title screens also appear to be fanmade. While Ant-Man and untitled sequels to Thor and Captain America are sure to happen, this isn’t the official lineup for Phase 3. A Guardians of the Galaxy sequel depends on the first movie’s success, Defenders will be the miniseries that ties Marvel’s four upcoming Netflix shows together, Doctor Strange is “in development,” and a Mark Ruffalo-led Hulk movie is still unconfirmed.
Similarly, if you see someone linking to the Black Widow movie on IMDb, don’t get your hopes up quite yet. IMDb regularly includes pages for movies that are only rumored to be in production, and Marvel Studios are yet to seriously confirm that Black Widow will get her own solo feature.
The issue with that nebulous phrase, “in development,” is that it sounds very official but doesn’t always lead to an actual movie. Wesley Snipes was cast as Black Panther back in 1992, and various other projects were developed and then dropped over the past fifteen years or so. Fortunately, Kevin Feige’s comments last year indicate that Marvel Studios is getting the ball rolling again, but either way, that screen test Instagram picture is most likely a hoax.
Illustration via comicbookartwork/Tumblr