'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever': Everything We Know About the Sequel

Everything we know about the upcoming sequel, from the returning cast, release date and storyline.

It's time for Black Panther fans to return to Wakanda, and luckily, the highly anticipated sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is on the way! 

Marvel announced the sequel in October 2018, with director Ryan Coogler attached to write and direct. Since then, the cast and crew have dropped numerous hints and teases about what fans can expect and shared their hopes about where the film will take the kingdom of Wakanda. As we get closer to the film's release, we've learned more about what's in store for the new installment. And with Coogler also working on an untitled Black Panther series for Disney+, it's safe to assume that the film will set viewers up for even more than just the finale of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase 4!

The ultimate question from fans has been how the Black Panther films will recalibrate following the death of star Chadwick Boseman in 2020. Boseman, who played King T'Challa, aka Black Panther, died at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer. Marvel Studios previously announced that it would not recast or digitally recreate T'Challa for the film's sequel. Since the mantle of Black Panther can be taken on by whoever is named the protector of Wakanda, another character could still become the Black Panther. The big question is, who will that be?

In anticipation of the sequel, we're answering all your questions and breaking down everything you need to know about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Walt Disney Studios

When Does Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Come Out?

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will premiere in theaters on Nov. 11, 2022.

What Is Black Panther: Wakanda Forever About?

The sequel gives fans their first look at how Wakanda has operated in the direct aftermath of the universe's five-year "blip" and how the nation grapples with losing its King. T'Challa's death also leaves Wakanda without its Black Panther, which leaves Wakanda seemingly vulnerable in the eyes of the rest of the world.

The film's official synopsis reveals that Queen Ramonda, Princess Shuri M’Baku, Okoye and the Dora Milaje are fighting to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa's death when Namor, king of a hidden undersea nation, alerts them to a global threat and his disturbing plan to thwart it. The Wakandans band together with the help of War Dog Nakia and Everett Ross and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda.

Previously, the cast and crew were all mum on the film's plot, but Martin Freeman shared that it's a doozy. In May, Freeman appeared on The Late Late Show With James Corden where he confirmed that he would reprise his role as CIA agent Everett K. Ross from the 2018 film. The 51-year-old actor explained that Coogler revealed the plot to him over a Zoom call.

"I had a Zoom call with Ryan Coogler, the director and co-writer about seven or eight weeks ago, I suppose," Freeman shared. "He sort of meticulously took me through all of my character's beats in the film. He took me through the film, but incorporating my character's beats. Some of it was very odd, and I think [Coogler] could see from the reaction on my face to some of the things he was saying. He kept sort of stopping, and he kept going, 'Stay with me, but this is going to work.'"

"I mean, we've not done it yet, who knows, we might make it awful, but I'm hoping we won't," he added. "I hope people will be in for a treat." 

With the death of Boseman, and subsequently T'Challa, the film will also answer the question of who is taking on the mantle of Wakanda's Black Panther. Despite some fans petitioning for a recast of the character, Marvel Studios has declared that they won't recast or digitally recreate King T'Challa out of respect for Boseman's memory. And in the teasers, a new Black Panther is seen making their debut amid the chaos of battle between Wakanda and Talocan. 

In the comics, Letitia Wright's Shuri dons the cowl after her brother, so it's highly likely that fans could see the younger royal fight for the role of the country's new protector in the sequel. 

Who Will Be Returning or Joining the Cast? 

Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda, Lupita Nyong'o as "war dog" spy Nakia, Letitia Wright as Princess Shuri, Winston Duke as warrior leader M'Baku and Danai Gurira and Florence Kasumba as Dora Milaje leader Okoye and member Ayo all return for the new film. 

Tenoch Huerta makes his MCU debut as Namor, the powerful ruler of the underwater kingdom of Talocan who butts heads with the Wakandans over his "disturbing" plan to thwart a global threat.

Dominique Thorne also makes her debut as Riri Williams alongside Michaela Coel as Aneka, Mabel Cadena as Namora and Alex Livinalli as Attuma.

Martin Freeman will also return as Everett Ross.

Michael B. Jordan, who played the villainous Erik Killmonger in the first film, told ET that he'd be open to returning, despite his character's perceived death. "There's always a love I have for those characters and Erik is definitely one of those that means a lot to me," he told ET. "So only if it's the right thing and it's impactful and if I could add something to it. If it means something then, yeah, I wanna be a part of that journey."

Even The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's Anthony Mackie wouldn't say no to an appearance in the sequel, especially since he now has a personal link to the royal family since Shuri made his brand new Captain America suit. 

"I do have a Wakanda visa, so I can go to Wakanda as much as I want," the actor told ET in May 2021. "I have a passport and a Wakanda visa and I'm vaccinated, so I can go to Wakanda."

But, like Jordan, Mackie would only want to appear if it suited the film's story. "It's strange now, because of the amount of respect and admiration I have for Chad, having known him for so long," he said of the late Chadwick Boseman. "You just want to do everything the right way. I don't know what that answer is. I don't know what that right thing is. I just want to make sure that it's done right for him."

Meanwhile, Daniel Kaluuya will not be in the sequel after revealing to ET he chose to star in the new Jordan Peele film Nope. "I was always in prep and then the call came, and I wasn't able to do it," he shared.

Kaluuya clarified that there is no bad blood between him and the franchise and that he's excited to see how Wakanda Forever pays tribute to Boseman. "I've heard things and I know that they're gonna do Chad an incredible, incredible, incredible service, so that's what I really care about," he said. "I can't wait to watch it."

What Has the Cast Said About the Film?

In a featurette released on Oct. 11, Coogler and the cast reflected on the making of the anticipated sequel, sharing how the world fans have come to love will be forever changed with the new film.

"Chadwick, he knew exactly what this story, what these images meant to the world," Bassett said, reflecting on how the film pays tribute to Boseman after his death. "In the telling of this story, we were all able to honor him together."

"It was really moving to come back to Wakanda and for us to be able to do it with a sense of celebration," Nyong'o added.

Coogler called Boseman his "artistic partner," revealing, "I would spend time with him, just he and I, talking about where we would want to see the story go, how much he admired the other characters and the actors that portrayed them." 

Wright reflected on the film embracing several character arcs rather than focusing on a singular character, nothing, "There's so much that's happening in this movie. It's amazing. So many new characters to explore. Just seeing the world of Wakanda again and then now we're going to this whole new world underwater."

Coogler also shared that production was "really excited" to introduce Namor, the MCU's first official mutant who is also considered a god by his people. Huerta called working on Wakanda Forever "a dream."

"The level of care in creating this story is astounding. And so, it just really felt like, for all of us to give it everything we have and more," Gurira said, with Duke adding that the cast was able to use their emotions and passion "to create something special."

In January 2021, Bassett told ET that everyone involved in the sequel "has to do a major pivot and they are still working on that now because none of us knew anything."

"It's a tremendous loss but Kevin [Feige] and the Marvel universe and Ryan, the director, the writer from before, they are committed to telling [a story] and equally as much as we can, equally planned. So we are looking forward to that. Looking forward to what they come up with," she said. "[Chadwick's] legacy, his loss, the love and appreciation that we have for who he was and what he shared with us cannot be [replaced]… It is missed and appreciated and cannot be duplicated. It's a tremendous honor and, yes, he is completely irreplaceable."

In March 2021, Coogler told The Hollywood Reporter that he believes Boseman would have wanted the cast to continue with the sequel in his absence. "I know Chad wouldn't have wanted us to stop," he said. "He was somebody who was so about the collective. Black Panther, that was his movie. He was hired to play that role before anybody else was even thought of, before I was hired, before any of the actresses were hired."

Nyong'o echoed Coogler's statement later that month during an appearance on Good Morning America, admitting that it will be different without "our King" in the Marvel universe.

"It's gonna be different, of course, without our King to go back into that world, but I know that all of us are dedicated to re-imagining or carrying on his legacy in this new Black Panther, and Ryan Coogler has some really, really exciting ideas that I look forward to bringing to life with the rest of the family," the Oscar-winning actress revealed.

Meanwhile, ET spoke to the stars of the Marvel sequel at Comic-Con 2022 in San Diego, where they shared how the second film carries on what the late actor started.

"Something about the alchemy that Ryan Coogler puts together, and I think it starts at the top, right?" Nyong’o said of the family Coogler has created through his Black Panther casting. "He sets a certain tone, certain culture on set, that it's all-hands-on-deck. It's teamwork, it's familial, it's intimate. And you go kinda through the fire together, and Lord, there were fires. So, it brings us all together."

"And then to see the fruits of our labor up there, and they're bigger than any of us -- we are all little, little pieces of the puzzle, but then to see it all together, it's very, very moving," she continued. "And to see what it means to an audience. There's something visceral about this particular story that brings us to tears."

It's a family that really cares, Wright noted -- one that is committed to not only honoring Boseman's legacy but carrying on his story in the sequel.

"It's definitely a family, it was a family from the very beginning," Wright agreed. "The family has extended a little bit, we have new members, but like Lupita said, it's a great alignment of souls and people who really care and people who really want to honor the legacy that we are trying to carry on of what Chadwick started, and we're really just grateful to have each other."

Duke echoed a similar sentiment, explaining the Black Panther family while speaking to ET. He said that what audiences see onscreen and at Comic-Con, is how the group expressed their grief over losing "one of their cohorts" and a "really great friend."

"The magic of Black Panther is really deeply rooted in the sense of family and the collective," Duke shared. "And the collective gets to express the individual -- the individual pain, the individual trials, the individual, things that they go through. Art really reflects life here, life really reflects the art. So, you get to see us as a collective, expressing our individual grief over losing one of our cohorts, one of our collaborators and a really great friend. And it was very emotional."

"We do it," Nyong'o said when asked how the film moves forward without its lead. "We do move forward."

"And we do it well," Wright added. "We do it with love and care and style."

Check out the video below for more on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.