With press for Ant-Man in full swing, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has been dropping a lot of hints about the future of the MCU. In addition to clueing us in to Marvel and Sony’s plans for their Spider-Man reboot, Feige is also opening up about Black Panther, who will make his on-screen debut in Captain America: Civil War. But what is the new hero’s role in the upcoming film, exactly?

In an interview with Birth.Movies.Death, Feige explained why Marvel chose to debut Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther in Civil War instead of, say, Ant-Man:

The reason we introduced him in Civil War is because we needed a third party. We needed fresh eyes who wasn’t embedded with the Avengers and who has a very different point of view than either Tony or Steve. We said, ‘We need somebody like Black Panther… why don’t we just use Black Panther?’ That’s how it went in the development process.

Basically, we shouldn’t expect for Black Panther to choose sides in the battle between Steve Rogers/Captain America and Tony Stark/Iron Man. But if T’Challa and his father have been in Wakanda this whole time, why are they just now getting involved? Feige had more to say on that:

Today, pre-Civil War, post-Ultron I think he and his father are saying, ‘A bunch of vibranium just got out of here and wreaked a lot of havoc. Maybe we can’t stay behind these borders anymore, maybe we have to stick our heads out and make at least an attempt to be a part of the rest of the world right now, while at the same time protecting our people.’

As Andy Serkis’ Ulysses Klaw explained in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Vibranium comes from Wakanda (and Klaw is one of the Black Panther villains from the comics). And as you’re all more than well aware, it’s the stuff that Cap’s shield is made of — it’s an incredibly powerful element, and one that could cause major damage in the wrong hands, obviously.

As for what we can expect from the Black Panther solo film, Feige was a little more tight-lipped, but he did say that T’Challa will be new to the role of Black Panther, having just taken up the mantle from his father, T’Chaka.

Captain America: Civil War hits theaters on May 6, 2016. Black Panther arrives on July 6, 2018.

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