Everything We Know About Marvel’s ‘Wakanda Forever’
It’s time to shout “Wakanda forever!” one more time.
Written and directed by Ryan Coogler, Marvel’s hit sequel ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ (in theaters Nov. 11) once again puts the spotlight on the high-tech African nation – a pivotal location in the vast cinematic universe. Marvel. But things are different now than they were in 2018, when the original film became a pop culture phenomenon and earned a Best Picture Oscar nomination: Star Chadwick Boseman died two years ago .
From faces new and old to someone else wearing the Black Panther costume, here’s everything you need to know about the planned superhero follow-up:
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What is the plot of ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’?
The sequel is set after the events of ‘Avengers: Endgame’, checking out Wakanda after King T’Challa (Boseman) reveals to the world that his nation is actually a tech-rich land instead of the third-world country that all the world believed it to be.
But in the new film, art imitates life: after T’Challa’s death, his mother, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), leads a Wakanda that enters its next chapter and must protect itself from other world powers.
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Who returns from the original ‘Black Panther’ movie?
Most of the main cast are back, including Letitia Wright as T’Challa’s genius sister, Shuri, Winston Duke and Lupita Nyong’o as Wakandan warriors M’Baku and Nakia, and Martin Freeman as CIA ally Everett Ross. And Danai Gurira’s Okoye again commands the all-female Dora Milaje, which includes Florence Kasumba’s second-in-command, Ayo (who appeared in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”).
Fans may not have to wait long to see them again: Coogler is developing a Wakanda-centric series for Disney+.
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Will Chadwick Boseman be in ‘Black Panther 2’?
The filmmakers haven’t said whether Boseman will be seen in “Wakanda Forever” other than murals with T’Challa’s face glimpsed in footage released so far. But they confirmed that the role will not be recast. “I felt like it was way too soon,” Marvel chief Kevin Feige told Empire magazine. “As extraordinary and fantastic as our characters and stories are, there is a relatable and human element to everything we do. The world is still dealing with the loss of Chad. And Ryan poured that into the story.
Coogler paid tribute to his late star at San Diego Comic-Con in July. “Chad is no longer with us physically but his spirit, his passion, his genius, his pride in his culture and the impact he had on this industry will be felt forever,” the director said. “We put our love for Chadwick into this film.”
And last year, in an interview with USA TODAY, Duke explained what shooting a “Black Panther” movie was like without Boseman: “I miss my friend.”
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Is there a new villain in ‘Black Panther 2’?
Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger set the bar for villains pretty high in the first “Panther.” Coogler selected a comic book fan favorite for one of the sequel’s main antagonists: Namor the Submarine, played by Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta.
With pointy ears and wings on his ankles, Namor rules over the undersea kingdom of Talokan, a Mayan-inspired version of Namor’s Atlantis from the comics. It’s another sophisticated landscape lurking from the world at large, though in both “Wakanda Forever” trailers, its inhabitants rise to the surface to battle Wakanda.
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What other characters make their debut in “Wakanda Forever”?
On Talokan’s side, Namora (Mabel Cadena) – who in the comics is Namor’s cousin – and the fearsome Attuma (Alex Livinalli) are introduced to the MCU, as is Michaela Coel as Dora Milaje’s combat instructor, Aneka.
One of the most important new characters in ‘Wakanda Forever’ – especially as it relates to Marvel’s future – is Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne), a young American inventor who has designed her own advanced Iron Man-style armor. . She has been chosen to headline her own Disney+ series “Ironheart,” produced by Coogler and slated to premiere next year.
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So who is the new Black Panther?
The first trailer for “Wakanda Forever” teased someone wearing a super vibranium suit and the new release this week showed the person in full. There are, however, a few clues to the identity.
This Black Panther appears to be female – which makes sense given Wakanda’s many female warriors. And the new hero’s mask design matches the face paint worn by Shuri, so it looks like the princess has taken over from her big brother. (In the comics, she inherits the Black Panther mantle when T’Challa is injured.)
When will ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ air on Disney+?
Tickets are on sale now for the film’s theatrical release, but fans will have to wait a bit before they can watch it at home. It took two months for the latest Marvel movie, “Thor: Love and Thunder,” to move from theaters to Disney+, but while “Wakanda Forever” follows the 47-day window of recent “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” films and “Lightyear”, fans will release it just in time for New Year’s Day.
Or maybe Feige will embrace his inner Santa and give Wakanda lovers an early Christmas present.