Moving into Phase Three, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in healthy shape. And one of the most highly anticipated releases has to be “Black Panther”. It’s the studio’s first Black superhero standalone movie (nope, Blade doesn’t count cos that was under another studio), and they’ve really taken it to heart. It’s led by director Ryan Coogler (“Creed”) and boasts the most anti-white-washed casting you’ve ever seen in a Blockbuster movie.

But so far, we’ve seen precious little about the project. Today, that’s beginning to change, with the release of the “Doctor Strange” blu-ray. One of its extras showcased the upcoming Phase 3 slate, and it included a first look at concept art from “Black Panther”. The artwork focused primarily on the mystical, technologically advanced (and totally fictitious) nation of Wakanda. Don’t take this stuff as gospel, since things tend to change from concept to execution. But it does give us a good idea of how Coogler and team are bringing Wakanda to life. It’s nice that they’ve managed to strike a balance between the African design elements and the high-tech look.

What I am most curious about however, is the 3rd pic, with that weird glowing liquid in the underground cavern. Could that be the source of the Black Panthers’ powers? In the comics, all Panthers get their super-strength/speed/etc from nature.

Here’s the full official summary and synopsis: “The Black Panther cast includes Chadwick Boseman (Captain America: Civil War, Get on Up), Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Fruitvale Station), Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, 12 Years a Slave), Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead, upcoming All Eyez on Me), Martin Freeman (The Hobbit trilogy, Sherlock), Daniel Kaluuya (upcoming Get Out, Sicario), with Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett (American Horror Story, London Has Fallen), with Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Lee Daniels’ The Butler), and Andy Serkis (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Wars: The Force Awakens).

Additional cast members include Letitia Wright (Urban Hymn, Glasgow Girls), Winston Duke (Person of Interest, Modern Family), Florence Kasumba (Captain America: Civil War, Emerald City), Sterling K. Brown (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) and John Kani (Captain America: Civil War, Coriolanus).

Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station) directs from a screenplay he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story). The film opens in U.S. theaters on February 16, 2018.

Black Panther follows T’Challa, who, after the events of Captain America: Civil War, returns home to the isolated, technologically-advanced African nation of Wakanda to take his place as King. However, when an old enemy reappears on the radar, T’Challa’s mettle as King and Black Panther is tested when he is drawn into a conflict that puts the entire fate of Wakanda and the world at risk.”


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