Martin Freeman Everett Ross

One of the less remarked upon aspects of ‘Black Panther‘ so far has been the way it takes characters who made strong first impressions in ‘Captain America: Civil War‘ and allows them to make an even bigger splash, adding depth and fleshing them out. This is most obviously the case with title character T’Challa, and even somewhat unexpectedly, his father T’Chaka, but the trend also extended to Everett Ross. Ross, played by Martin Freeman, serves as something of an audience surrogate through much of ‘Black Panther’, finally becoming a vital ally to T’Challa.

All of that (to say nothing of Freeman’s performance) is enough to leave one wondering just what the future holds for Ross. Of course, he’ll be back. That’s basically a given in a franchise like the Marvel Cinematic Universe where even characters like William Hurt’s Thunderbolt Ross can reappear after an eight-year absence. So it’s less a question of “if” than of “when”. Well, we can safely say it’ll likely be sooner rather than later. Speaking to Den of Geek, Freeman confirmed that not only will he be back, but that his ongoing role in the MCU has been part of the plan from the moment he was cast.

“They introduced me in ‘Civil War’ and said there would be a couple of other films, one of which was ‘Black Panther’. So that was always on the cards. And I knew I’d have much more to do in ‘Black Panther’ than I had to do in ‘Civil War’. That was very much just the kind of introduction to who Ross was.”

Though it hasn’t been confirmed whether or not Ross will appear in this summer’s ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, it would hardly be surprising, given the prominence of his role in ‘Black Panther’ and the fact that T’Challa himself is due to reappear. Likewise, another solid bet for Ross’s return would be in a sequel to ‘Black Panther’, which is virtually inevitable given the film’s stellar opening weekend performance. Beyond that, of course, it’s anyone’s guess. The fact that the character works for the CIA means that he could appear with relative ease in any number of future Marvel film (barring, perhaps, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3’), much the way Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson appeared throughout the Phase One films.

Helmed by ‘Creed’ director Ryan Coogler, ‘Black Panther’ marks the eighteenth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film, which stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis, is now playing in theaters.