If you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, then you probably wouldn't know that Black Panther has become a zeitgeist that extends beyond just movies. The film is now a pop culture force to be reckoned with, so it comes as no surprise that Marvel is preparing a sequel to double down on that magic!
The film studio confirmed they are working on a follow-up in a feature with Entertainment Weekly. "Nothing specific to reveal, other than to say we absolutely will do that. One of the favorite pastimes at Marvel Studios is sitting around on a Part One and talking and dreaming about what we would do in a Part Two," Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, revealed. "There have been plenty of those conversations as we were putting together the first Black Panther. We have ideas and a pretty solid direction on where we want to head with the second one." While this isn't surprising news, it is exciting to know that we'll be able to see even more of Wakanda in the future.
Kevin Feige is a huge fan of the Ryan Coogler, and has previously expressed his interested in working with the director again for a Black Panther sequel. Coogler (along with A Wrinkle In Time's Ava DuVernay and Get Out's Jordan Peele) is one of the few leading examples of Black filmmakers in Hollywood. But Marvel Studios are already working on ways to further push inclusivity in their own movies, which will hopefully trickle into other studios in the industry. When asked if Marvel will feature more people of color in front of and behind the camera, Feige responded:
"Yes. I think we’re seeing it shift from a very purposeful initiative to just a fact of life, to just a way of doing business. Then there are people we hired that we’re not ready to announce in all different capacities, particularly behind the camera. As Panther has so loudly declared, [representation] can only help you, can only help you tell unique stories, can only help you do things in a new, and unique, and fresh, and exciting way. If you do that, audiences will notice it, and appreciate it, and support it."
Black Panther has shown that people crave diverse casts and will support films that celebrate—not hinder—characters they can directly relate to. Marvel hiring more employees from different backgrounds could only give them more respect and financial success as they continue to make their stamp as the leading superhero conglomerate (sorry, DC). The movie has raked in $936 million at the box office worldwide, and is projected to cross over the billion-dollar mark this weekend as it premieres in China today. It has already earned the title of the biggest non-sequel and non-ensemble superhero film of all time, surpassing 2016's Deadpool, 2017's Wonder Woman, and 2002's Spider-Man.
The movie doesn't seem like it's going to stop breaking records any time soon, so we can only imagine how major the sequel will be. Marvel, we'll be waiting for the premiere date! In the meantime, watch former Marvel Comics' editor-in-chief Axel Alonso reveal his dream for diversity and truth: