BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER - 8 Confirmed (And Rumored) Details You Need To Know
Now that production has begun on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, we thought now would be a good time to take a closer look at the biggest confirmed details and rumours for the highly anticipated sequel...
2020 was a terrible year on many fronts, but the death of Chadwick Boseman was truly heartbreaking. After a lengthy, secret battle with cancer, the actor passed away at home and the news left the world reeling. His acting career was far too brief, but in that time, he made an undeniable impact, particularly when it comes to what he brought to the table as T'Challa in Black Panther.
The actor's work in the MCU was simply superb, and Marvel Studios is now looking to do honour his legacy with the upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (which is set to be released next year).
We don't have too many confirmed details about the sequel, but there are some, while plenty of rumours have also been doing the rounds in recent weeks. With that in mind, we've compiled the biggest pieces of intel from both to bring you a better idea of what to expect from this return visit to Wakanda; that includes possible story details, casting information, and even news on the big bad.
To take a look through this breakdown, all you guys need to do is click on the "Next" button below!
8. Namor The Submariner's Possible MCU Debut
When some sort of underwater volcanic eruption was mentioned in Avengers: Endgame by Okoye, fans immediately started speculating over whether that could have been a nod to Atlantis.
Since then, we've learned that Narcos: Mexico star Tenoch Huerta is playing Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's lead villain, and while no official casting details have been shared, it's claimed he will take on the role of Namor the Submariner. The premise of the movie is said to be a war between Wakanda and Atlantis, while Namora and Cadmael are also rumoured to appear.
We're not sure what could possibly lead to this clash between the two nations, but Namor's MCU debut is long overdue, and this would certainly be an exciting direction to take things in.
7. Chadwick Boseman Won't Return Via Digital Double
Marvel Studios will have to address the absence of Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa in some way, but it's been confirmed that there are no plans to bring the actor back with visual effects (which is what happened with Grand Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia in the recent Star Wars movies).
Executive Vice President of Marvel Studios, Victoria Alsonso, has gone on record to say, "There's only one Chadwick, and he's not with us. Our king, unfortunately, has died in real life, not just in fiction, and we are taking a little time to see how we return to the story and what we do to honor this chapter of what has happened to us that was so unexpected, so painful, so terrible, really."
This feels like the right move on Marvel's part, though we are curious how T'Challa's absence will be handled. Some will argue that tying that into the story would be in bad taste, but comments from everyone involved suggests that Ryan Coogler has found a way to honour the late actor.
6. The MCU's New Black Panther?
We know that T'Challa won't be recast following the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman, but rather than putting Erik Killmonger, M'Baku, or Shuri (a definite fan-favourite choice) beneath the Black Panther helmet, it seems Marvel Studios may have plans to introduce a whole new character.
Apparently, Bridgerton breakout star Regé-Jean Page is Marvel Studios top pick, and while he won't be playing a recast T'Challa - it's been confirmed that's not the route the MCU is heading in - there is another possibility. The obvious suggestion is Kasper Cole; created by Christopher Priest and Dan Fraga, he's best known as White Tiger, but has also held the Black Panther mantle.
The child of an African man and a Jewish woman, Kasper could fill the void left by T'Challa, and Page definitely feels like a good fit for an entirely new version of the Black Panther character.
5. Expect A "Very Odd" Sequel
Martin Freeman first played Everett Ross in Captain America: Civil War and later reprised the role in Black Panther When Freeman appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden, he shed some light on what fans can expect, revealing that Ryan Coogler broke it all down for him.
"He took me through the film, but incorporating my character's beats. And some of it was really very odd," Freeman admitted. "I think [Coogler] could see from the reaction on my face to some of the things he was saying, my face must have been going [shocked face] like that, because he kept sort of stopping, and he kept going, 'Stay with me, but this is going to work.'"
"People are in for, I think, a real treat. I mean we've not done it yet, who knows, we might make it awful. But, I'm hoping we won't, I'm hoping people are going to be in for a treat." We're definitely a little confused by these comments, but if we are heading to Atlantis, they do start to add up.
4. Will Doctor Doom Also Debut?
This is a little hard to believe, but it's been said that Doctor Doom will make his MCU debut in this sequel, with the idea being that the ruler of Latveria is going to become a Thanos-level threat over time. His role in this film is said to be a small one, as Victor Von Doom pulls the strings from the shadows (likely meaning we're going to get a loose adaptation of the Doomwar storyline).
Thinking about it, there's no reason Doom, now ruling over his home nation of Latveria, wouldn't attempt to take advantage of a weakened Wakanda in T'Challa's absence.
By manipulating Namor, the stage could be set for the third Black Panther film to bring Doom into the fray and possibly even the Fantastic Four given the history Black Panther has with that team. A Doomwar adaptation would be epic, though we're certainly not banking on this happening in Wakanda Forever.
3. Why Ryan Coogler Decided To Return
In the wake of Chadwick Boseman's death, a lot of fans wondered if the Black Panther franchise should continue without him. However, that first movie means so much to so many, it's easy to see why Marvel Studios wants to honour the actor and character, all while expanding the world of Wakanda. In an emotional interview, writer and director Ryan Coogler explained why he returned.
"It’s difficult," Coogler acknowledged. "You’ve got to keep going when you lose loved ones. I know Chad wouldn’t have wanted us to stop. 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."
"On that set, he was all about everybody else. Even though he was going through what he was going through, he was checking in on them, making sure they were good," he continued. "If we cut his coverage, he would stick around and read lines off-camera [to help other actors with their performances]. So it would be harder for me to stop. Truthfully. I’d feel him yelling at me, like, ‘What are you doing?’ So you keep going." These are touching words, and we're rooting for the director.
2. More Erik Killmonger?
There have been rumblings since almost the very beginning that Michael B. Jordan might return as Erik Killmonger, and he's certainly not finished with the MCU seeing as he'll be part of What If? next month. However, as his villain seemingly died in 2018's Black Panther, how seriously should we take these claims? Well, the actor himself has teased a return multiple times now!
We never actually saw Killmonger die, and given the amazing technology in Wakanda, he could have quite easily been saved after falling into unconsciousness next to his cousin.
While we'd have loved to see his relationship with T'Challa continue to play out, a redemption arc in the wake of the King's death could be interesting, especially as he is technically next in line to the throne. We'll see, but at this point, it would be surprising for him not to appear in some form.
1. The Confirmed Cast
In terms of confirmed new additions to the cast, all we really know is that Tenoch Huerta will be joined by British actress Michaela Coel. There's been a lot of speculation that she will play Storm in the movie, and while we'd love to see that, it's far from confirmed at this stage.
Plenty of other cast members have confirmed their return, though. That includes Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira, and Letitia Wright will all be back alongside Martin Freeman.
Daniel Kaluuya has said he's unsure whether he'll be back as W'Kabi, and while cameras are rolling on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, we're anticipating hearing more casting news over the coming weeks. In the meantime, this ensemble remains as impressive as ever, and everyone involved is bound to want to bring their A-game in order to do the late, great Chadwick Boseman justice.