The Marvel Cinematic Universe is vast, unique and filled with tons of entertainment value. Several superheroes from the comic books call it home now. The MCU has been home to Iron Man, Black Panther, Captain America, The Hulk, Ant-Man, Spiderman and a shitload of other superheroes. While that certainly sounds as much, there is still room for more. When it comes to superheroes, there is no place for the word ‘too much’. People love superheroes and if you can give them more, they will love you even more. The more the merrier is the mantra of every superhero shared a universe, be it the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the DC Extended Universe.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a mile ahead of its counterpart in this regard. Superhero debuts are Marvel’s strongest suit. And they have used it to full effect. Spiderman: Homecoming, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Ant-Man, the Guardians of the Galaxy made their debut in the MCU with much oomph and panache. The soon to be released Black Panther is all set to do the same.
Although Black Panther had already debuted into the MCU in Captain America: Civil War, he never did get an official standalone feature film. That is about to change with Black Panther about to be released this month. In more ways than one, it will explore T’Challa, his homeland of Wakanda and his people. In more ways than one, Black Panther is the debut feature for T’Challa into the MCU.
But that is not all. The Black Panther movie wasn’t going to highlight only Wakanda and his protector. The original plan, if Black Panther’s director Ryan Coogler had had his way, was to debut two superheroes in the same movie. Black Panther wasn’t the only one initially planned to hog the spotlight. He had a competitor. The Director Ryan Coogler says the movie almost saw the debut of another popular superhero called the Patriot aka Elijah Bradley.
“Crazy enough, for comic book fans, we toyed with the character Patriot for a little bit,” Coogler revealed to CinemaBlend. “Early on we were interested to get our hands on him, Joe [Robert Cole] and I, but that ended up going away so we could focus on Wakanda a little more.”
The prime focus of the movie was and always will be Wakanda. The locale populace of the tiny super advanced African Nation has absolutely no connection to Patriot. Given there is no shared history between the two, it would have been difficult to include and involve Elijah Bradley’s character within the movie. Marvel was rumored of only passively referencing Patriot in the movie, so as to have a way for a possible Patriot standalone movie. It is tough to say if the rumors are indeed true. Or maybe Patriot was only playing second fiddle to Marvel’s grand scheme of things.
Patriot aka Elijah Bradley is the descendant of the legendary Marvel character Isaiah Bradley. Believe it or not, Captain America is not the only guy with the Super Soldier Serum flowing in his veins. After Erskine’s death, the Allies tried to replicate Steve Rogers’ result with a variety of test subjects during and after the war. Almost every one of the test subjects died. Isaiah Bradley was one of the extremely few to have made it out. As an African
American Super Soldier, he has helped the good guys win unwinnable battles and wage war against evil. Elijah Bradley is the descendant of Isaiah Bradley and also went through the same procedure as the latter did. In turn, he too was endowed with peak human physical abilities like his grandfather and allowed him to join the Young Avengers and become their leader.
Coogler may have abandoned the idea but he said there were plans for including all the major African American players of the Marvel Universe in the movie.
“The ones that you see were kind of always there,” Coogler confirmed. “M’Baku, Killmonger, T’Challa, Nakia, Okoye, Shuri, Ramonda, Klaue, Everett Ross… they were always in every draft. So we had to make sure that they all had arcs, and it had something to do with that.”
Coogler also states Black Panther will be unlike any superhero movie anybody has ever seen.
“When I first started talking to Marvel, one thing they were interested in was for Panther to be their version of James Bond, which I thought was incredibly interesting and exciting,” Coogler shared with Total Film. “It was a really outside-of-the-box way to look at T’Challa. There are some Bond films that I really, really like, and it gave me the opportunity to go watch some other ones.”
Black Panther hits the theaters on February 16.