Clearly, there is a lot to look forward to with the Black Panther movie, slated to be released next year. We follow our hero T’Challa, played by actor Chadwick Boseman to rule his home country of Wakanda in the wake of his father the king’s untimely death in Captain America: Civil War. In his corner are some formidable allies, including characters played by a veritable who’s who of strong Hollywood actresses, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, and the legendary Angela Bassett. Add to that an incredible vibranium super suit, an incredible villain, Killmonger played by Michael B. Jordan, a host of other adversaries and even a mechanized rhino!

So what could possibly get you more excited than all of this? Marvel opened its studio doors to the press last week to tease their up and coming lineup of movies, and Black Panther got by far the biggest push, even though filming only wrapped days ago and it isn’t slated to hit theaters until February 18th, 2018.

So why the eagerness on Marvel’s part now? According to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, the answer is two fold:

“I think it’s two things,” said Feige. “Black Panther is a huge part of the Marvel Comics mythology, and has been for 50-plus years. Other than his awesome, relatively brief appearance in Civil War, his history has been relatively untapped.”

And with a cast that is so incredibly stacked with Hollywood’s best and brightest, including Oscar winning actors like Forest Whittaker and Nyong’o, plus television stars like Gurira and Sterling K. Brown, it’s no surprise that Feige had this to say about the cast:

“Every day, seeing that cast come together … it’s just amazing,” he mentioned. “Across the board, it’s the highest-class cast we’ve had on a first movie.”

Feige went on to say about Boseman, validating the investment that Marvel made in him and the faith they placed in him 3 years ago:

“You always like your instincts being validated, and Chadwick was the first choice for us,” said Feige. “He was the only person we ever talked to about the role, and one of the highlights of my career was calling him out of the blue on a speakerphone with Joe and Anthony Russo (the directors of several Marvel properties, including Captain America: Civil War) and our executive producer Nate Moore, who’s now executive producer of Panther. I said, ‘Have you ever heard of Panther? Would you want to play him?’”

Finally, Feige observed that the thing he is most excited about with the upcoming movie is the chance to ‘mix it up’ with Marvel’s 18th movie.

“It’s really exciting that this part of the universe is so unbelievably diverse and looks unlike any of the other films that we’ve made,” he said. “The cast looks different than any of the other casts that we’ve had. Both in front of and behind the camera, it’s almost entirely people of color, which I think is a special, important thing, and one of the reasons the film will be unique and as great as I think it’s going to be.”

The movie also features Angela Bassett in an incredible gold headpiece that could give Cate Blanchett’s Hela antlers some serious competition. For some, this may be the entire reason they buy a ticket.

“She’s awesome,” laughed Feige. “There’s no doubt about that.”

Source: Vulture