Can Wakanda endure the loss of its king? And can the Black Panther franchise thrive without the late Chadwick Boseman in the leading role? Both of those questions hang over the newest trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The trailer makes it clear that Boseman’s T’Challa is dead without revealing how he perished. While the onscreen characters mourn the loss of T’Challa, it also serves as a memorial for Boseman himself. But they won’t have time to grieve for long.
Other nations smell the proverbial blood in the water, despite the warning of Queen Ramonda that Wakanda remains a force to be reckoned with. What Ramonda doesn’t initially realize is that Wakanda isn’t the only hidden kingdom on Earth. The underwater nation of Talocan has set its sights on Wakanda, as led by its powerful ruler, Namor, the Sub-Mariner. Against this threat, a new Black Panther will need to answer the call. And while the trailer confirms that the next Black Panther is female, it doesn’t confirm her identity.
There are really only three candidates who could convincingly seize the mantle. T’Challa’s sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright), T’Challa’s former lover, Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), and the leader of the Dora Milaje, Okoye (Danai Gurira). In Marvel’s comic book universe, Shuri has previously become Black Panther when her brother was near death. While that gives her the edge in this race, the fact that the trailer hides this information makes us expect a swerve about who is under the mask.
Winston Duke co-stars in the sequel as M’Baku, with Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams/Ironheart, Florence Kasumba as Ayo, Michaela Coel as Aneka, Tenoch Huerta as Namor, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, and Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda.
Ryan Coogler directed the sequel and co-wrote the script with Joe Robert Cole. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will hit theaters on Friday, November 11.
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