Although still more than two years away, Black Panther is being talked up by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige as an integral part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- and specifically the Avengers movies.
“This one is important,” said Feige in an interview with Empire (via ComicBookMovie). "Not only do you get an unbelievable lead character, but you also get all of Wakanda which is a whole new setting and culture to explore It's a big geo-political action adventure that focuses on the family and royal struggle of T'Challa in Wakanda, and what is means to be a king. T'Challa's story is very important to us as it links to the next Avengers films, which is why we brought it forward.”
Black Panther will be the literal lead-in to Avengers: Infinity War Part 1, as its currently scheduled as the last movie before that film is released.
Black Panther opens in theaters February 16, 2018.