It's been nearly a month since Black Panther debuted to instant and massive box office success, and though no release date has been set yet, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has confirmed that a sequel is on the way.
"Nothing specific to reveal, other than to say we absolutely will [make a sequel]," Feige said in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly. "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. 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."
As of this week, Black Panther has grossed more than half a billion dollars at the domestic box office, and it's nearing the billion-dollar mark worldwide. That's great for any movie, but it's particularly impressive when the film's only been out for three weeks. It was almost guaranteed that a sequel would be on the way when the opening weekend box office projections started coming in, but now Feige's basically made it official. T'Challa and company obviously have to get through Infinity War (which will heavily feature Wakanda) and the still-untitled Avengers 4 first, but Black Panther 2 sure sounds like a sure thing.
Beyond that, there's still the question of just how big the Black Panther franchise could get within the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. The title hero obviously has a major role to play, but one of the great appeals of the film has been its supporting cast, particularly characters like Shuri, Okoye, and M'Baku. As the MCU expands, and as some stories conclude in the wake of climactic events like Infinity War, there's room for supporting characters to take on leading roles in future films. Could that happened with the Wakandan characters? Feige certainly isn't ruling it out.
"I think there’s lots of potential. It’s a balance between leaving people wanting more and then giving them too much, but I would watch a movie about any of those [Black Panther characters] you just named," he said. "I think Shuri’s astounding, and you’ll see much more of her in our universe. Okoye, I think I’d watch three action films [with] just Okoye. I’m not saying we’re doing that, but I’m saying that we’re intrigued by them. Frankly, as I’ve said before, finishing these first 22 movies is really all we’re thinking about at this point."
Avengers: Infinity War opens Apr. 27. After that, we might know more about the future of Wakanda.