Marvel Studios has had aspirations to bring the world of Black Panther to Disney+ for several years. The latest reports claim there are multiple streaming projects in the works to spin out of the African nation, including one exploring the Kingdom of Wakanda and another starring Danai Gurira's Dora Milaje leader Okoye.
The original spin-off plan to further explore the Kingdom of Wakanda comes as the result of a five-year television deal between Disney and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler's Proximity Media production company.
Black Panther's Disney+ Spin-Off Isn't What Many Were Expecting
Speaking on The Hot Mic podcast, Above the Line's Jeff Sneider shared a rumor claiming the Black Panther Disney+ spin-off series that Marvel Studios is developing with franchise director Ryan Coogler will be titled The Golden City and will surprisingly be animated.
Although never explicitly stated to be so, most generally assumed the Kingdom of Wakanda series would be live-action as opposed to animated. Some outlets at the time the series was first reported did mark the spin-off plan as live-action, but perhaps that was merely an assumption as opposed to coming from actual insight.
Disney first entered into a “five-year overall exclusive television deal” with Coogler in February 2021 with plans to develop a Disney+ drama set in the Kingdom of Wakanda. A production company called Maglev Train Productions was later opened for the streaming spin-off in July 2021.
The Cosmic Circus (TCC) revealed just days ago that the working title associated with Maglev Train Productions is Golden City - named after the Wakandan capital. So, the animated Black Panther spin-off has seemingly been in development for almost two years given both Sneider and TCC offered the same title.
Why Disney+'s Wakanda Series Should Be Animated
The decision to dive into the Kingdom of Wakanda in animation may be an unexpected one, but this could actually work out quite well. For one, the format of animation could allow for more vast and impressive regions of the nation to be explored across the series than would be realistically possible in live-action.
This could also allow the series to feature MCU actors that may not otherwise be looking to take their characters to Disney+ in live-action. One only has to look at the cast Marvel Studios assembled for What If...? to see the amount of top-tier talent it can land for an episode or two when only quick vocal work is required.
Exactly what the Wakandan series will revolve around currently remains unclear, although one option could be an animated anthology format that dives into the various tribes, lifestyles, cultures, and characters across Wakanda. This could allow for a mix of both new and returning characters to feature across the show.
A report from Deadline in May 2021 noted that Danai Gurira's Okoye was expected to feature in both her own "origin spinoff series," and the Kingdom of Wakanda project. Of course, this was almost two years ago so plans may have changed, but this could point toward her appearing in the animated Golden City series.
While the Wakandan series may have gone animated, fans could still get a dip into that world in live-action on Disney+. It was reported in late 2021 that the Okoye series was placed to shoot in 2023, indicating it will be live-action, although shake-ups at Marvel Studios could have delayed or even canceled that show.
Animation has become an increasing focus for Marvel Studios since What If...?, having opened a whole division to develop more projects in the format. Those Disney+ series announced so far include more of What If...?, Marvel Zombies, Spider-Man: Freshman Year, and X-Men '97.
The Black Panther Disney+ spin-off has yet to set a release date or receive a formal announcement from Marvel Studios.