'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever': Everything We Know About the Sequel
By Mekishana Pierre
It's been a few years since Black Panther fans saw Wakanda in all her splendor, so we're about due for another visit. Luckily, the highly anticipated sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is on the way! Although details on the film are still scarce, we know some key facts such as who's coming back and when the film will drop.
The sequel was announced back in October 2018, with director Ryan Coogler already attached to write and direct. Since then, the cast and crew have been dropping hints and teases about what fans can expect, and sharing their hopes about where the film will take the kingdom of Wakanda. With Coogler also working on an untitled Black Panther series for Disney+, it's safe to assume that the film will set fans up for the show. So there's a lot to look forward to!
Fans are also curious about 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 deemed the protector of Wakanda, another character could still end up becoming 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.
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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will premiere in theaters on July 8, 2022.
What Is Black Panther: Wakanda Forever About?
The cast and crew are all mum on the film's plot, but according to Martin Freeman, 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 49-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, there's a possibility that the film will feature someone else taking on the title of Wakanda's Black Panther. Despite some fans petitioning for a recast of the character, Marvel Studios announced in December that they wouldn't recast or digitally recreate King T'Challa out of respect for Boseman's memory. So, it's likely that the sequel will instead pass the mantle to someone else.
In the comics, Letitia Wright's Shuri dons the cowl after her brother, so fans could see the younger royal fight for the role of the country's new protector in the sequel.
Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Wright, Danai Gurira and Angela Bassett are all expected to return for the new film.
Michael B. Jordan, who played the villainous Erik Killmonger in the first film, told ET earlier this month 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. "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 says 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."
"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, Coogler recently 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 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," theOscar-winningactress revealed.
Check out the video below for more on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.