This ‘Black Panther 2’ Theory Could Explain Why It’s Taking So Long for the Movie’s Release

Marvel fans were disappointed when the studio unveiled phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the sequel to Black Panther was nowhere to be found. Granted, it was added to the slate after the initial announcement, with a release date scheduled for May 6, 2022.

The first Black Panther came out in 2018, so if that date holds, that would be four years between sequels, which is about on par for Marvel. 

There were four years between Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok, and three years between Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp. But fans have gotten used to shorter time spans between movies, so they want to see Black Panther 2 as soon as possible. 

‘Black Panther’ was more than a hit

Chadwick Boseman on the red carpet
Chadwick Boseman | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for dcp

The success of Black Panther seemed to take even Marvel and Disney by surprise. Marvel had plenty of hits before then, but the studio released the movie in February, which is not typically a time for blockbuster releases. Marvel had usually released its movies in the prime slots of summer or the holiday season. Black Panther was the first exception to that pattern. 

And what an exception it turned out to be. The movie scored a phenomenal opening weekend, scoring just over $200 million. The movie had extremely sturdy legs, even staying in theaters long after Avengers: Infinity War was released.

Ultimately, the movie made more than $700 million, making it Marvel’s most successful movie that didn’t have the word “Avengers” in the title. In fact, among the 23 Marvel movies, it’s second only to Avengers: Endgame.

The movie resonated so well that Black Panther won the Best Ensemble prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and it went on to become the first superhero film ever to score a Best Picture Academy Award nomination. Is it any wonder that fans – and for that matter, Marvel and Disney – would want a follow-up sooner rather than later?

Could a Storm be delaying the sequel?

Screen Rant put together a list of 10 things that could happen with the sequel, one of which is “A romantic subplot with Storm.”

That’s Storm as in the member of the X-Men, the one played by Halle Berry and then Alexandra Shipp in the movies released by Fox and now owned by Disney. 

The website writes, “In the comics, T’Challa and Storm are one of the greatest power couples in the Marvel universe. Ororo Munroe married T’Challa and became the Queen of Wakanda. With the X-Men characters joining the MCU, it seems likely that this romance will be brought to the screen.”

The only problem with that prediction is that Kevin Feige has said that it would be “a very long time” before the X-Men joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And he said that just this year.

So unless three years is his idea of a “very long time,” it seems unlikely that even one of the X-Men would make their Marvel/Disney debut that fast. It could be that Feige meant that it would be a very long time before an actual X-Men movie, but there’s a simpler reason for the delay. 

Marvel doesn’t want to rush

Marvel and Disney know that expectations are sky-high for the Black Panther sequel. So arguably more than any other movie it has coming up, it’s important that Marvel get this right.

It wouldn’t be the end of the world if Black Panther 2 were merely decent, but in the social media world of absolutes where movies are only awesome or awful, anything less than great would be seen as a major disappointment. 

Ryan Coogler, who directed the first movie and is on board for the sequel, is an acclaimed filmmaker, having made a name for himself with Fruitvale Station and Creed, both starring Michael B. Jordan, who played Killmonger.

He’s one of the relative few Marvel directors who puts his individual stamp on the Marvel house style, and having given Marvel such a groundbreaking hit, he’s surely being granted a lot of latitude in making the sequel, Storm or no Storm.