The original Black Panther movie became a cultural phenomenon in 2018, thanks in large part to Chadwick Boseman‘s unforgettable performance as the title character. Boseman’s death in 2020 caught everyone unprepared, and left his family, friends, fans, and colleagues to mourn him. That’s one of the key reasons why the upcoming sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, will not recast T’Challa. Instead, as the cast and director Ryan Coogler explain in the video below, it will serve as a tribute to Boseman and his signature character.
While the characters mourn for T’Challa, his demise puts the nation of Wakanda itself in the crosshairs of another powerful kingdom. Tenoch Huerta is making his MCU debut in the film as Namor, the Sub-Mariner, the king of the underwater kingdom known as Talokan. As alluded to by Coogler in the video, Namor is one of Marvel’s oldest characters — he even predates the first appearance of DC’s Aquaman by two years. Namor is also a unique foe in that he isn’t evil. However, he will destroy Wakanda if he believes that the country is a threat to his.
To save Wakanda, a new Black Panther must rise. While the trailers have yet to identify the woman in the Black Panther costume, there is a precedent for Letitia Wright’s Shuri to assume the mantle after her brother. Regardless, Marvel has seemingly gone out of its way to keep that info under wraps. And there is no shortage of potential candidates for the new Black Panther among the film’s female cast.
If it’s not Shuri under the mask, then our money is on either Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia or Danai Gurira’s Okoye. Angela Bassett also has a much larger role in the movie as T’Challa and Shuri’s mother, Ramonda, who must now rule the kingdom. Winston Duke and Martin Freeman will reprise their respective roles as M’Baku and Everett K. Ross. Dominique Thorne will also make her MCU debut in the movie as Riri Williams ahead of her Disney+ series, Ironheart, which will premiere next year.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will hit theaters on Friday, November 11.
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