Moviegoers often complain about long runtimes, but as Justice League proved, shorter isn't always better. So Marvel isn't going that route with Black Panther. The runtime is in, and it's a long one. Perhaps one of the longest in all of the MCU. But that shouldn't worry fans too much. Especially if they thought Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was perfect.
Black Panther clocks in at 135 minutes, or two hours and fifteen minutes. This is exactly one minute shorter than Guardians Vol. 2, which managed to accomplish quite a lot in its 136 minute runtime, without fans screaming too loudly about it being overlong. Black Panther soars a little above Spider-Man: Homecoming, which clocked in at 133 minutes. This past November's Thor: Ragnarok was 130 minutes, but at the last minute, what was originally a 90 minute movie had 40 minutes added to it. Marvel apparently likes this particular runtime, with all of these latest movies coming in at roughly the same spot on the dial, even if they have to ad some padding.
Black Panther is just a short six months away from release. And it has been announced that there will be a new preview launched during next week's College Football National Championship Game, which kicks off at 8pm (EST) on Disney owned ESPN. That telecast will also feature a performance from Kendrick Lamar, who is creating new music for Black Panther.
Not only do we have the runtime and the promise of a new preview, a Toys R Us catalogue has provided some new character biographies that are quite extensive in helping set up and explain what's happening in Black Panther. They kick off with Black Panther, the mantel held by T'Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman. As the new king of Wakanda, T'Challa is struggling to cope with the loss of his father T'Chaka, but is determined to live up to his great legacy. When Wakanda finds herself beset by two enemies intent on the nation's downfall, Black Panther must use his new suit and heightened strength, speed and senses to defend Wakanda and the rest of the world.
Okoye is played by Danai Gurira. She is the head of the Dora Milaje, an all-female special forces group, Okoya is a fiercely loyal protector of Wakanda who isn't afraid to question her king, but would defend him with her life. A staunch traditionalist who is as formidable with her spear as she is with her tongue, Okoye finds herself torn between her allegiance to her country and her king when T'Challa begins to challenge ancient Wakandan rules.
Nakia, played by Lupita Nyong'o, is a Wakandan spy pulled from her mission abroad by her former flame T'Challa, Nakia consistently gets involved in conflict for the good of others, adamant to use her abilities to help those in need. In the wake of King T'Chaka's death and the rise of Wakanda's new enemies, Nakia puts her skills of subterfuge and hand-to-hand combat to use in order to fight alongside Black Panther. Shuri, played by Letitia Wright), is T'Challa's younger sister and head of the Wakandan Design Group, where she designs and builds futuristic tech such as the Black Panther suit with Vibranium mined from the Great Mound. She is an innovator, intelligent beyond her years, and always ready to give her big brother a hard time.
On the villain side, we have Erik Killmonger, aka Erik Stevens, played by Michael B. Jordan. Erik Stevens was an American black-ops soldier who earned the nickname "Killmonger" while in the field. However, after disappearing off the grid, he has reemerged with a plan that threatens to put Black Panther and all of Wakanda at risk. Using his charisma, considerable skills in combat and his surprising knowledge of Wakandan customs, Erik Killmonger is a dangerous threat to all that T'Challa holds dear.
M'Baku (played by Winston Duke) is armed with the hardened Jabari wood armor and a battle staff, M'Baku is the formidable leader of the Jabari tribe, a group of Wakandans who have shunned the use of vibranium and removed themselves from the mainstream Wakandan life. In the wake of T'Chaka's death, M'Baku is faced with the choice of challenging T'Challa for the throne, or joining forces with his would-be adversary to defend Wakanda from malevolent outside forces.
Finally, we have Captain America: Civil War crossover character Everett Ross, who is played by Martin Freeman. He is a CIA agent and former liaison with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, Everett Ross is reunited with T'Challa when they both find themselves after the same adversary: Ulysses Klaue. A skilled tactician with advanced weapons training, Ross becomes an invaluable ally to the Black Panther. Thanks to Toys R Us for providing these new character backgrounds.