Which Superhero Might Lead Marvel’s Next Secret Project?

By  · Published on June 5th, 2012

Joss Whedon’s The Avengers capped off the supposed first phase of Marvel’s cinematic superhero domination in spectacular fashion. It currently sits as the third highest-grossing film of all time (not accounting for inflation), but more importantly, it’s a damn entertaining film. Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige recently laid out parts of phase two, which included sequels to Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man, but he also left two titles unannounced.

Confirmation on those mystery titles will most likely come during this summer’s Comic-Con, but that hasn’t stopped the speculation. The Avengers 2 seems obvious. Ant-Man is high on fans’ wish lists. The Vision is absent on most polls.

But now it looks like we know the identity of at least one of them, thanks to Latino Review. They broke this scoop earlier today which, judging by their past history, pretty much makes it official. One of the previously unannounced Marvel films is going to be…

The badass pictured above: The Black Panther.

As LR’s El Mayimbe correctly points out, the clues have been pretty obvious throughout some of the earlier films. A map in Iron Man 2 offered a glimpse of the Black Panther’s home country, Wakanda, and Captain America’s shield is made from Vibranium, which is mined in that same fictional African country. Plus, a script was commissioned last year from writer Mark Bailey.

So now the question becomes, who should be cast in the role? Most of Marvel’s previous leads have been known actors, stars even, so the odds of an unknown nabbing it are pretty slim. (Chris Hemsworth was arguably an unknown quantity before Thor, and definitely not a star, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility.)

Idris Elba probably leads on many people’s wish list, but he may be out of the running simply due to his small role in Thor as Heimdall. Djimon Hounsou is another contender, and he currently voices the character for the Marvel Knights series of cartoons. Someone somewhere is bound to suggest Will Smith, with a straight face no doubt, but that person should be shunned from future contact. Chiwetel Ejiofor is a possibility, and he already has an in with Whedon, too. Maybe David Oyelowo?

Or should we go out on a ledge here and refuse to be bound by racial restraints…Joel McHale for Black Panther! Who’s with me?

Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.