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Chadwick Boseman to play 'Black Panther,' taking on 1st African-American lead role in Marvel Studios films

Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. and Chadwick Boseman

Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. and Chadwick Boseman at an event announcing new Marvel superhero movies. Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

Chadwick Boseman will play the title role in the superhero movie "Black Panther," becoming the first African-American lead in a Marvel Studios film.

Studio president Kevin Feige announced Tuesday that Boseman, who played Jackie Robinson in "42" and James Brown in "Get on Up," would headline the Nov. 3, 2017, release. The movie is about the ruler of the high-tech, fictional African nation of Wakanda, who in comic books has also been a member of the superhero team the Avengers.

"I'm blessed to be a part of this Marvel Universe," Boseman said at the announcement at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. The character will first appear in "Captain America: Civil War" in 2016.

What the studio calls "Phase 3" of the interconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe begins May 1, 2015, with "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and will continue with "Ant-Man" later that year. Other releases include "Doctor Strange" in 2016; "Guardians of the Galaxy 2" and "Thor: Ragnarok" in 2017; "Captain Marvel" and "Inhumans" in 2018; and "Avengers: Infinity War Part I" and "Part II" in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

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