Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige just dropped an end-of-the-year present on Marvel fans in the form of some tantalizing comments in the latest issue of Empire.
In a Marvel-centric edition otherwise devoted to the upcoming Deadpool movie, Empire looked at four upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Three films: Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor: Ragnarok, and Spider-Man.
We already knew, thanks to a few otherwise pointless crossovers, that Marvel plans to tie most of the Phase Three films into Avengers: Infinity War. Feige confirmed this to Empire specifically regairding Thor and Guardians, and he also explicitly mentioned its importance to Black Panther, noting, “T’Challa’s story is very important to us as it links to the next Avengers films, which is why we brought it forward.”
Here’s what else we learned from Feige’s Empire comments.
- Black Panther will feature a mostly black cast, which should be good news to Marvel fans who want more diversity—as long as the franchise carries the trend into other films.
- Black Panther will focus on a power struggle for the throne in T’Challa’s East African homeland of Wakanda. This strongly hints that the film’s storyline will closely follow T’Challa’s canonical early years, in which he struggles to complete the rituals that would allow him to rightfully claim the throne over numerous warring factions. He’ll probably also be working to avenge the death of his father, T’Chaka, who was killed by a villain we met in Age of Ultron, Ulysses Klaw.
- We already knew that Thanos will be the main villain in the Infinity War arc, but Feige also confirmed that Thanos will not be making an appearance in Guardians 2. Looks like he’s saving himself for the main event.
- We will, however, get a glimpse of numerous characters who have each occupied the roles of various Guardians over the years. (But alas, thanks to Marvel’s convoluted licensing, we won’t get to see the newest Star-Lord, X-Men’s Kitty Pryde, step into the role.)
- Thor: Ragnarok will take place “within the cosmos primarily,” rather than on Earth. Feige also promises new characters and a visit from the Hulk—but we’re not convinced yet that this non-apocalypse will have much bite.
- Spider-Man will apparently be a different look at the webbed wonder than we’ve seen before—a film that’s smaller in scope and focuses on Peter Parker as a wee high-school freshman. We’re skeptical that this will rejuvenate a property bloated with reboots, but good try, anyway, Mr. Feige.
Illustration by Felipe Pesantez/deviantART (CC BY ND 3.0)