Marvel’s newest man of the hour pretty much holds the keys to when we’ll begin hearing development news about his follow-up to Black Panther, the studio’s biggest-ever box office hit. At least, that’s what we’re thinking after reading what Kevin Feige has to say on the matter.
The Marvel Studios president said there’s no rush to begin work on a Black Panther sequel, but that he definitely wants Ryan Coogler to return to the director’s chair for T’Challa’s second feature film outing — even if it means letting Coogler have a big say in when the film's development begins.
“We definitely want Ryan to come back and that’s actively being worked out right now,” Feige told Collider at a recent press event for Avengers: Infinity War. “When will it be? A lot of it will be when Ryan wants to and not rushing anything, but I think we have an idea of when it will be. But, again, [we’re] not going to announce any post-Avengers 4 movies until hopefully after Avengers 4, which is another reason we’re not going to Comic-Con.”
While that’s a lot of info in relatively few words, Feige wasn’t finished. He also explained that Marvel took the long view in stacking the release of Black Panther back to back with Infinity War, making sure that Wakanda got heavy play in the upcoming Avengers movie on the heels of its big-screen introduction with Black Panther’s February debut.
“[W]e had built a plan, not the least of which was centering so much of Infinity War in those locations and with some of those characters,” said Feige. “…It would have been much more disruptive if it had not worked. Then we would have had to change a lot of what we were thinking about, but it really just solidifies and excites us to continue to move forward in the directions we’re heading in.”
He’s referring, of course, to Black Panther’s meteoric ascent to the top of Marvel’s already-impressive list of box office success stories. Just shy of 10 weeks in wide release, the movie’s racked up the biggest domestic numbers Marvel’s ever seen, scoring $681 million in North America as well as an additional $642 million overseas.
Combine those two figures, and Black Panther is well on its way to a lifetime take that eclipses Marvel’s biggest-ever global moneymaker (at least until Infinity War shuffles the charts once again), the original Avengers film — which sits at an all-time worldwide box office of $1.5 billion.
We won’t have to wait until after Avengers 4, though, to land back in Wakanda; in fact, we’re only a quick theater trip away from heading there this very week. Avengers: Infinity War finally takes U.S. theaters by storm beginning April 27.