If rumours persist that Edgar Wright's Ant Man is continuing development, that would make Black Panther the fabled second "untitled Marvel Studios project" that has been floating around for a few weeks.
Black Panther, AKA T'Challa, is a superhero/Royal of Wakanda (either Prince or King, depending on how far into the continuity they dip), a fictional African nation. Wakanda is the world's only resource of vibranium (the indestructible metal used to create Captain America's shield), following a meteor crash, and due to the priceless nature of this mineral the country has become a technological superpower.
Wakanda has already been established in the Marvel Movieverse, as seen in the Iron Man 2 easter egg below (that little circle over Africa is where Wakanda would be on the map, click to enlarge):
On top of all the incredible tech at his disposal, Black Panther also has mystical powers which grant him the enhanced strength and senses of a panther spirit. He's basically Batman or Iron Man with the added bonus of magic.
More importantly, Black Panther would be a real turning point for Marvel's movie image, aside from Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury the collected franchise has been on the pale side of things. Black Panther is a great way to diversify what should be representative of "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" and appeal to a bigger demographic. As more and more non-caucasian audiences turn out in large numbers (especially for superhero movies), it would be a very smart move to appeal to that ever-broadening audience base. It's a good precedent for Marvel to set (it's been a long time since Blade, remember) and, most vitally, it's just a damn good property to bring to the screen.
Now for some educated speculation (that's not really a term, I just want to pretend my hypotheticals are more credible than others) on the immediate future of Marvel at the movies:
If Ant Man and Black Panther are the two new titles Marvel is developing to introduce to their movie universe, this would put to bed rumours that Marvel were ready to get cosmic with Dr. Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Could this mean something more?
Now, bear with me, but if Ant Man and Black Panther are the two new movies in Marvel's Phase 2 does this impact the direction The Avengers 2 will take? Thanos, the Mad Titan, was set up as the mastermind of the events in The Avengers but that does not necessarily mean Thanos is going to appear in The Avengers 2.
In a recent interview, when Kevin Feige was asked if Thanos would be appearing as a supervillain any time soon, he said, “No, future, future."
If Phase 2 is the "future" of Marvel Studios, that could mean "future, future" is referring to Phase 3. This would mean Marvel have an even bigger end game in store this time around. They could be planning movies entire cycles in advance.
So, assuming Thanos is being saved for the "future, future" and not the immediate future (which makes sense, you wouldn't want to set up your most powerful villain for the second movie in your series, that would lead to major anti-climax syndrome for part 3) then what could be happening with Phase 2?
I'm asking a lot of questions, I know, but roll with it.
Ant Man, AKA Hank Pym, is a genius inventor on par with Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. Aside from perfecting the mass-manipulation technology that allows him to shrink to the size of an ant, or grow to the size of a giant when in his Giant Man persona, Hank Pym attempted to create a robot called Ultron. His creation eventually evolved a sense of free will (as these things so often do) and rebelled against him, becoming a mass-murdering, borderline unstoppable supervillain.
Later versions of Ultron were constructed out of none other than Wakanda-brand vibranium, making it an even bigger threat for The Avengers - do you see where this is heading?
Feige promised that the current slate of Marvel sequels would be more self-contained and not bogged down setting up the next big movie, but he never really said anything about the two NEW movies being used as set-up. There is an established history to back up the idea of Ant Man's story crossing over with Black Panther's (in Disney's Earth's Mightiest Heroes cartoon series, Ant Man's first episode takes place in Wakanda) to build up towards an Ultron-centric Avengers 2.
Ultron is one of The Avengers' most famous and formidable foes. In the mini series, titled Ultron Unlimited, the metallic menace creates an army of Ultron clones and slaughters an entire nation. Robots, you can't say they're not efficient.
It may not be "cosmic" but it's still on a bigger scale than even the Chitauri invasion of the first Avengers movie and with an antagonist that is tougher and far harder to take down than poor, wimpy Loki.
This is all dependent on whether a Black Panther movie is even happening, Marvel deny the rumour but I am more inclined to believe Latino Review. Their reputation for nailing scoops is almost peerless and studios lie about everything.
Source: Latino Review