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Thanks to Marvel Studios’ massive announcement last year, quite a few facts are currently known about the planned Black Panther movie that will release in 2017. Get On Up star Chadwick Boseman will play the lead role, and will make his first appearance as the character in next year’s sequel Captain America: Civil War. Boseman has a five-picture deal, which means that there’s a strong chance that he’ll assemble alongside the Avengers in the two-part Avengers: Infinity War movies.
The groundwork for Black Panther will be laid much sooner than that, however, as the latest trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron has dropped further hints about Black Panther-related plot elements that will be featured in the film.
WARNING – POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD.
Ulysses Klaw and Vibranium
First things first: as though any further confirmation was needed that Andy Serkis is playing Black Panther’s nemesis Ulysses Klaw (aside from the fact that he is sporting the character’s distinctive beard- and hair-style), a new shot of Serkis in the trailer shows that he sports a claw necklace and generally looks every bit the part of a dirty smuggler of rare metals.
The particular rare metal that attracts Klaw’s interest, vibranium, is also what ties the Avengers, Ultron and Black Panther together. Ultron will take on many forms and evolve throughout the film, including a form with a shell made out of vibranium. Vibranium is also the material that Captain America’s shield is made out of, and one of the few places where it can be found is Wakanda, the African country that Black Panther rules over.
What do the filming locations suggest we'll see?
One of the first international filming locations used for Avengers: Age of Ultron was Johannesburg in South Africa, but if any question remained that Johannesburg might be used as a stand-in for another city, the new trailer showed officers wearing South African Police Service uniforms and a South African restaurant chain called Nyama & Chips. This is the location of a major showdown between Hulk and Iron Man, as Bruce Banner apparently loses control of “the other guy.”
The second Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer goes further than showing new shots of Johannesburg, however; it also seems to confirm that Wakanda itself will appear in the movie. A new shot of the mysterious cave pool where Thor was shown bursting shirtless out of the water in the first trailer shows an unidentified African woman standing on the edge of the pool and dropping her cloak to the ground. Popular speculation points to this woman being a member of Black Panther’s personal security detail, the Dora Milaje.
CBM also noted that the shot of an apparently random city that the Quinjet is shown flying through could very well be a look at Wakanda, since the architecture looks similar to that of the city in the comics. We couldn’t find any locations in Johannesburg or Seoul (the two major cities where location shoots for Avengers: Age of Ultron took place) that match this shot, and it appears to be CGI. Of course, if any readers recognize the buildings as belonging to a real world city then please let us know in the comments.
[UPDATE: Thanks to Screen Rant reader 4play for identifying this location. It's actually not Wakanda, but the Digital Media City area of Seoul. Here's an image showing the location from another angle.]
The trailer doesn’t seem to offer any reason to believe that Boseman himself will appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron, so it’s still safe to assume that Kevin Feige was being honest when he said that Captain America: Civil War would mark the character’s first on-screen appearance. Nonetheless, that doesn’t rule out the possibility of Black Panther being alluded to in Marvel’s next movie, to help build hype for his eventual debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Still thinking about that mystery woman...
The woman by the pool isn’t the only mystery woman in the trailer. A shot of Thor channelling lightning through his body in some kind of candlelit hall also briefly reveals another woman, possibly also wearing Dora Milaje garb, standing behind him. This could mean that Thor will end up having a showdown with the Dora Milaje or (like many things in the trailers) it could be part of an illusion conjured by Scarlet Witch. Whatever it is, the clip is too short to make out much detail.
After peering far too closely at the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron, it’s worth sitting back and watching it from start to finish without any pauses. This is definitely one summer movie that’s worth getting excited for, are you?
Avengers: Age of Ultron is in theaters on May 1, 2015, and Black Panther releases on November 3, 2017.