Black Panther definitely stands out as one of the successful films in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although the idea of a film adaptation for the popular character seems like an easy sell now considering that Black Panther is now an Academy Award winning film, this wasn't always the case. In his recently released memoir, The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger revealed that a Black Panther film project was rushed up after he read through some of Ta-Nehisi Coates' work on one of Marvel's comics and was thus inspired to add the series to the slate of films.
As Iger explained in the memoir, "Around the same time, Dan Buckley, who runs Marvel's television and comic book businesses, told me that the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, who I felt was one of the most important voices in contemporary American literature, was writing a Black Panther comic for us."
Elaborating further, Iger stated, "I asked Dan to send it to me and was amazed by the elegant storytelling and the way Ta-Nehisi had added such depth to the character. I devoured the comic, and before I even finished it had placed Black Panther on the list of must-do Marvel projects in my mind."
With Black Panther's almost instantaneous success after its release, it seemed Iger made the right decision in adding the character to the Marvel Cinematic Universe faster than not. A worldwide total of over $1.3 billion USD, the film has been such a major hit that a sequel has already been confirmed to be in the works.
Revealed during D23 Expo earlier this year, Black Panther 2 is currently on track for a release on May 22, 2022. Ryan Coogler has been confirmed to return to direct the new film, and while details for the sequel are currently scarce at the moment, much of the cast from the first film are expected to return. As for the new villain? Fans are certainly hoping that Namor finally makes his live-action appearance.
Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall of 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in Spring 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, What If…? In Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022.
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