Marvel announces first female and black superhero leads in Captain Marvel and Black Panther movies

'Black Panther' will feature a solo black male lead, while a female superhero will take centre stage in 'Captain Marvel'

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The Independent Culture

Marvel Studios has unveiled a raft of new movies, including Black Panther and Captain Marvel: its first films to feature a black male lead and a female lead.

At a fan event in Hollywood on Tuesday, Marvel president Kevin Feige announced the names of eight films the studio plans to release over the next five years.

Doctor Strange, telling the tale of a former neurosurgeon who turns to magic, will be the first in line with a 2016 release date.

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But announcements on Black Panther and Captain Marvel  were the most important for the company on Tuesday.

While Marvel has female superheroes including Black Widow, recently played by Scarlett Johansson, Captain Marvel will be the studio's first film with a female lead, in what appears to be an effort to attract more female fans.


Feige added that the studio is still looking for an actress to play the alter-ego of Carol Danvers, but added there is plenty of time with the film due for release in July 2018.

And 42 actor Chadwick Boseman, who will appear in the third installment of Captain America, will become Marvel's first black leading actor in Black Panther. Set to premiere in 2017, Boseman will play the superhero alter-ego of T'Challa.

Black Panther (Boseman) looks on as Ironman (Downey Jr.) and Captain America (Evans) do battle in a game of rock-paper-scissors at a Marvel fan event in Los Angeles (Getty Images)

At Tuesday's event, Boseman appeared alongside fellow Captain America: Civil War actor Chris Evans, and Iron Man's Robert Downey Jr.

The announcement follows a succession of hits for Marvel Studios, from Iron Man to Captain America and Chris Hemsworth's Thor.

In July 2017, Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, who plays popular supervillain Loki, will return in Thor: Ragnarok. Feige said the film will set a new timeline of events that will be followed in future Marvel films, which are often interconnected.

Avengers: Infinity War, the third installment of the ensemble superhero franchise, will be split into two parts, with part one released in May 2018 and part two in May 2019.

In addition to new solo superheroes, Marvel will unveil the ensemble cast of Inhumans in 2018 for its 20th film, with Feige saying he hopes it will lead to numerous spin-off franchises.

The full list of Marvel Studio films unveiled today:

“Captain America: Civil War” - May 6, 2016

“Doctor Strange” - Nov. 4, 2016

“Guardians of the Galaxy 2” - May 5, 2017

“Thor: Ragnarok” - July 28, 2017

“Black Panther” - Nov. 3, 2017

“Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1” - May 4, 2018

“Captain Marvel” - July 6, 2018

“Inhumans” - Nov. 2, 2018

“Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2” - May 3, 2019

Additional reporting by Reuters