The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been an unrivaled force in cinema for close to ten years, generating several billion in profits for the ambitious comic-book brand. It was also a historic year for Black characters in the universe as well with the announcement of The Black Panther film coming in 2017.
While we wait, with bated-breath, for November 3, 2017, to see the unveiling of The Black Panther, we decided to take one last look back on a noteworthy year for Black characters within Marvel’s ever-expanding universe.
Leading off the year was Anthony Mackie’s return as Sam Wilson / The Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Mackie was ecstatic with the work, behind-the-scenes, before filming began. “Marvel has done something very unique and beautiful with the character of Sam Wilson,” Mackie says. “They have worked consistently over the past 50 years to get him right. A lot of characters you just try one time and just let them fall by the wayside. So I was very proud to bring him to the screen.”
With Chris Evans stepping down from the franchise, will Mackie become the new Captain America? Time will tell.
In the critically acclaimed summer box-office winner, X-Men Days of Future Past, Halle Berry reprised her role as Storm, while French actor, Omar Sy joined the franchise as the mutant Bishop. Berry was not the only Oscar winner to find work in the universe, Jamie Foxx also was spotlighted as villain Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Marvel does a great job of identifying actors that can bring some of their more notable characters to life and in Djimon Hounsou, the filmmakers behind The Guardians of the Galaxy unearthed a gem. Seeking to provide diversity and his trademark authoritative presence, Hounsou was solid as Korath in the highest grossing Marvel film of the year.
The company topped off the year with the announcement of The Black Panther film, starring Chadwick Boseman. After playing the Godftather of Soul, James Brown in Get On Up and baseball pioneer, Jackie Robinson in 42, Marvel has entrusted the keys to their potential brand new franchise and Boseman is overjoyed.
“I’m excited about it too!” said Boseman. “Beyond excited, it’s like to the point where you feel numb and then your mind goes off into, ‘Ok, how do I achieve that?’ The great thing about it is that the actual character is unique in a lot of ways. I can’t think of another character that’s like the leader of a nation and is a superhero at the same time. There are a lot of different ways this story can go, ways that they can do it, so I’m really just excited about how it fits into the bigger picture of what Marvel is doing.”
The future is looking bright as Marvel continues to expand the idea of not only what the universe looks like but identifying some people that will serve as the foundation of this bold new world!!!