Filming on Captain America: Civil War is underway across the Atlantic, but it’s not just the Avengers who have invaded Germany. Secondary superheroes have also descended on the set of Marvel’s summer 2016 blockbuster and into the crosshairs of local paps—which is how we have our first grainy looks at Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther in action sporting the comic book hero’s snazzy black cat suit.
Well, sort of: Spy pics captured shots of Boseman’s stunt double on set in a full-body Black Panther suit and feline-eared face mask, harnessed into rigs that allow him (and doubles for Bucky Barnes and Captain America) to leap across and down a huge building.
A sprawling cast of returning and new Marvel stars is set to appear in Civil War, including Chris Evans as Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Anthony Mackie as Falcon, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Paul Bettany as Vision, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, Daniel Bruhl as Baron Helmut Zemo, and Tom Holland as the new Spider-Man.
If you haven’t heard, Civil War is a superhero mega-party that kicks off the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Three with a plot in which the spandexed community is torn apart by the Superhuman Registration Act, a government mandate to document and approve all working superheroes following a cataclysmic “international incident.”
Rumors peg the inciting incident as a tragic battle snafu in which Captain America (Chris Evans) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) pursue HYDRA baddie Crossbones (Frank Grillo), who sets off a massive suicide bomb explosion that wreaks death and destruction on the civilian populace.
In the comics, the Black Panther mantle is one that’s handed down through generations of leaders of the African nation of Wakanda. Boseman’s Black Panther is set to star in his own stand-alone film in 2018, but audiences will get their first introduction to the Get On Up star as T’Challa, the crime-fighting African prince, in Civil War.
So how does Black Panther fit into the mix? This summer’s Ant-Man did its part to propel the larger MCU arc forward with mentions of Sokovia, the third-world nation where the Avengers saved the world in messy, village-dropping fashion in Age of Ultron. And as the Avengers go increasingly global with their high-profile shenanigans, they’re attracting the world’s attention, according to Marvel Studios puppetmaster Kevin Feige.
“Today, pre-Civil War, post-Ultron, I think [Black Panther] 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.’ That’s sort of where we meet him in Civil War," Feige told Birth. Movies. Death.
Meanwhile, local reports have spotted most of the assembled Avengers cast painting the town red (and maybe green) in Germany. Despite the fact that Thor and Hulk aren’t officially in Civil War, sightings of Mark Ruffalo hanging with his Avengers buds in Berlin suggest that Robert Downey Jr. may have made good on his promise that the Hulk will show up in the movie.
“If Robert Downey, Jr. says I’m in Captain America, I’m in Captain America, dammit,” Ruffalo said in June. “And I will wait for the day that my call sheet shows up at my doorstep, or my script. At this point I’m told that I’m in it by Robert, which I’ll take as Biblical, but I just haven’t heard or seen from production yet.”