Marvel's 'Black Panther' Connects to 'Avengers: Infinity War' And Other Phase 3 Details

Marvel's box office domination is set to continue next year with Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange, both part of Phase 3 that will conclude with Avengers: Infinity War. But it's a long way to go until we get to that point, with characters new and old getting their moment to shine. Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige opened up to Empire [h/t to CBM] about Phase 3 and what is in store for some of its biggest titles.

The first post-2016 film is James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which we know will reunite the cast of Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, and Dave Bautista. While story details are still being kept under wraps, we know it will involve Star-Lord's parentage. But according to Feige it will be more than that, like introducing the previous 'Guardians' incarnations across time and space. Just give me Major Victory, that's all I ask. Feige says...

“There’ve been many different incarnations of the Guardians over the years in the comics and we’ll catch a glimpse of additions over the course of the movie.”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens on March 5th 2017, but it will be followed by two more movies that year. Next up is the untitled Spider-Man film directed by Jon Watts and starring Tom Holland. Feige talked about the scope of the film, which is said to be "smaller" and focused on Peter Parker's high school life...

“Smaller scale is all relative….It’s going to be as big and spectacular a Spider-Man film as has ever been made. But it’s a Peter Parker story and has more opportunity to be focused on the story of a 15-year-old kid going to high school.”

Spider-Man swings into theaters on July 28th, 2017, followed by Thor: Ragnarok on November 3rd. Last time around Thor was forced to team up with his treacherous brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), but this time he's got Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) by his side, which could prove even more unpredictable. Feige says not to read into the title too much, and to be prepared for a cosmic adventure rather than an Earth-based one...

“I don’t think people will read into that title alone [regarding] what the movie’s going to be. It’s going to be, perhaps, as totally different from the two prior Thor movies as Winter Soldier was from the first Captain America. We want to take it to new places, we’ve got new characters that will show how big we’re swinging on this. And we have a Hulk… The film takes place within the cosmos primarily, which is to say, frankly, very little Earth.”

And finally there's Black Panther, which stars Chadwick Boseman as the King of Wakanda with Ryan Coogler (Creed) in talks to direct.  This one's still so far away that details on it are few, but Feige promises a "primarily African-American cast" and that it will link directly to Avengers: Infinity War Part 1.

“This one is important. It’s a big geo-political action adventure that focuses on the family and royal struggle of T’Challa in Wakanda, and what is means to be a king. T’Challa’s story is very important to us as it links to the next Avengers films, which is why we brought it forward.”

Big geo-political action adventure is exactly the kind of story Black Panther is best in, and if you don't think so check out the legendary run by Christopher Priest.  Black Panther hits theaters on February 6th 2018, followed by the first chapter of Avengers: Infinity War on May 4th 2018.