BLACK PANTHER: KINGDOMS RISE - My Pitch for the Black Panther Sequel

BLACK PANTHER: KINGDOMS RISE - My Pitch for the Black Panther Sequel

For ages the kingdoms of Wakanda and Atlantis lived in fragile peace, united only in hiding from an immature world. Then Wakanda broke that agreement. Meanwhile, a new kingdom finds its place in the world.

Here is my somewhat detailed story outline for my pitch of a sequel to Black Panther. It is pretty long, so feel free to scroll to the bottom if you just want to see some of the payoffs to past MCU movies, easter eggs and setups for future movies. I hope you all enjoy it, and please let me know what you think in the comments!

Story Outline

Prologue:

Locations: African skies

2023; open on a shot of two Wakandan war dogs flying a craft over the African landscape, then the ocean, saying very little. We can see their eyes are glowing slightly, but unnaturally. The pilots dive the craft underwater and follow the ocean floor until we see an impressive city appear through the water.

They fly around the city, until identifying a crack in the ground nearby. They follow the crack until they approach a wider chasm, at which point they simply say target acquired, fly in out of sight and then a massive explosion occurs, triggering an earthquake devastating the underwater city. 

Transition to advanced beings dealing with the aftermath. We see some arrive near the destroyed chasm to find wreckage. NAMOR exits a craft with no protective equipment, picks up a piece of the craft, snaps it in his hands and says simply “Wakandans”.

Act 1:

Location: Wakandan jet on approach to Wakanda

Open with T’CHALLA, SHURI, and OKOYE returning to Wakanda following Tony Stark’s funeral. When they break through the cloak they see Wakanda on fire in the midst of battle. They are shot at, take damage but manage to still cloak the plane and set it down.

W’KABI saw the plane get hit and tracked it to its landing point. W’Kabi approaches  to help them. He explains he saw the crash, that Atlantis attacked and overran the weakened Wakandan army, and M’BAKU (who assumed the throne) is being put on trial. Shuri stays behind to fix the plane while W’Kabi, Okoye and T’Challa attempt to infiltrate the palace where the trial is occurring.

Location: Wakanda streets

The trio sneak & fight their way, encountering some resistance. Along the way they discover Atlantean weaponry is highly effective against their Vibranium tech. T’Challa trusting his suit is almost taken out and needs to be saved by W’Kabi. This forces them to revise their approach.

They arrive mid-trial, but delay acting to use the opportunity to learn about why Atlantis attacked. Namor, via Atlantean projection (similar to Wakandan sand tech, but coral-based) is stating his case for the invasion. This is where we can learn a lot about Atlantis’ history with Wakanda and the past treaty both nations were part of, and that Atlantis blames Wakanda for an earthquake which devastated their city.

As M’Baku is taken away and sentenced to death, they follow along and free him. While making their escape, Okoye is badly injured. For a moment while escaping, they take refuge for W’Kabi to tend to Okoye. During this M’Baku and T’Challa have a falling out about T’Challa’s opening Wakanda’s borders and all the harm it caused.

Location: Atlantis throne room

Atlantean design will appear to have Greek/Roman/Minoan influence, constructed with a mix of metals, crystals and corals. We’ll also see magical shields, etc in places. I imagine Atlantis survived sinking with the use of magic (like how in Endgame spells held back the water from rushing onto the battlefield at one point), and then corals, crystals, etc eventually grew over the shields creating a natural dome. This allows Atlantis to still have aquatic access but not be fully submerged inside the city to help it stand out from Aquaman’s Atlantis.

Namor learns about the break-out, and orders his troops to begin searching the borderlands and mountains, that both T’challa and M’Baku need to pay for their crimes.

Location: Wakandan city streets

Their dispute carries over until they battle their way back to the borderlands. M’Baku vows to return to the mountains, and will no longer help Wakanda, feeling it to be a failed state. W’Kabi insists on taking Okoye to a safe house to tend to her wounds. With no backup, T’Challa and Shuri decide they must leave Wakanda to get outside help. They discuss options like Everett Ross, the Avengers, etc before concluding they know of a nation who can handle Atlantean weapons, and take off leaving through the cloak.

Act 2A: 

Location: New Asgard. 

We see it has grown tremendously since we last saw it in Endgame. It’s architecture, and its visible technology resemble a blend of modern humans and Asgardian.

T’Challa/Shuri arrive in New Asgard and are met by attacking Asgardian soldiers. Perhaps we give LADY SIF a small role here. This gives a good chance to see how Black Panther compares to Asgardians, notably Asgardian weapons do not react to Vibranium like  Atlantean ones. VALKYRIE arrives and apologizes for the aggressiveness, but says after their last Wakandan visitor they could not take a chance.

In New Asgard’s throne room, Valkyrie shares that shortly after the battle against Thanos, New Asgard was attacked by a single Wakandan, but not just any. This one had abilities seen only once before, and nearly destroyed the village before being subdued. Luckily, she has experience capturing Thunder gods. 

T’Challa says he doesn’t understand; Wakandan rituals do not grant such abilities. Shuri says weather manipulation is not something achieved with their technology. Valkyrie acknowledges; “We know, this wasn’t YOUR technology. I’ll take you to her.”

In Asgard’s prison, we first see ORORO, also known as Storm. T’Challa remembers her- a childhood friend who was believed long dead after a powerful storm hit Wakanda. Ororo reveals that, for reasons she doesn’t understand, she gained the power to manipulate the weather, but after accidentally conjuring the storm which killed her family she fled Wakanda out of fear, hoping to find answers. She's run ever since, knowing that until she could control of her abilities, too many storms in one location would attra attention.

A couple of months ago in Eastern Europe she was abducted by agents able to suppress her powers, and was brought before their leader. He could suppress her abilities through sorcery, and he had knowledge of Vibranium no one outside of Wakanda should have, and knew she was Wakandan because of it. He also seemed to be a true sorcerer, and took over her mind. She could only watch as her body tried to destroy this kingdom. Only after being captured was her mind restored. When T’Challa asks who’s behind all this, she responds. “Doom”.

Act 2B:

Location: Doomstadt, Latveria 

Imagine Chicago from “I, Robot” but with architecture and city planning befitting Eastern Europe. It’s apparent from a quick glance that citizens’ needs are largely taken care of as robots can be observed handling many routine tasks, but that militarized bots are also common on the streets. Swoop into Doom’s throne room.

Two Wakandan war dogs with the same glow in their eyes are escorted in by Doombots. They inform VICTOR VON DOOM that a coded message was received that Wakanda is overrun by Atlantean troops. Doom stands up, says “Of course they are. It’s time for us to bring peace.” He turns to an advisor and tells them to prepare  for invasion.

Location: New Asgard

T’Challa reveals that Atlantis attacked Wakanda, and how they accused Wakanda of attacking first and violating some “Treaty of the Illuminated” which he didn’t understand. Valkyrie remembers the Treaty, it’s what led to Asgard leaving behind its presence on Earth; why they became a myth. All the advanced beings who signed agreed to hide from humanity and let them to evolve on their own. Atlantis was part of the treaty, as was Wakanda. T’Challa remarks that he never knew, and it sinks in that by opening up the country he broke this agreement; Wakanda was at fault.

Not allowing T’Challa to dwell, Shuri points out that if Latveria forced Ororo to attack New Asgard, then he probably was behind the attack on Atlantis as well. But why? They and Valkyrie reason, recalling times Thor’s Hammer and Captain America’s shield interacted that pairing enchanted objects with Vibranium may greatly increase their power. They reach the right conclusion; if Doom can marry large supplies of Vibranium with magical powers throughout his drone army there would be little anyone could do to stop him. They have to keep him from getting the Vibranium

Intercut with the New Asgard scenes to this point, Doom is led to Wakanda’s Vibranium mine by corrupted War Dogs, and attempts to access Wakanda’s mined Vibranium stores, unbeknownst to the Atlanteans who’ve invaded the nation. After the incidents with Klaue and Killmonger the security had been upgraded with multiple locks and later trials, which Doom works through.

T’Challa recalls how Atlantean weapons nullified their vibranium weaponry. Shuri says if she can get access to whatever material did it, she can apply it on a large scale and nullify the vibranium supply before Doom can use it. Ororo and Valkyrie are shocked, and ask what’d Wakanda do without that vibranium? T’Challa says he is not sure, but they would still have the tech they’ve already made. If stopping Doom means sacrificing their supply, then so be it.

They hatch a plan to infiltrate Atlantis to find and steal whatever they have to nullify vibranium. Ororo says once they have it they will need a distraction for Doom in order to use their weapon. Valkyrie says Asgard cannot support their move into Atlantis, due both to the Treaty and the Sokovia Accords but does know someone who can provide a good distraction in Latveria, who’s not Asgardian.

T’Challa, Shuri and Ororo suit up (Ororo is given some armor by Valkyrie, which she pairs with her clothing to make a ‘proto-Storm’ suit) and fly off to infiltrate Atlantis. 

Location: Atlantis

Once in the city, they access a lab computer to learn Atlantis has an unknown metal- Orichalum, a unique isotope formed when Atlantis was sunk. Shuri confirms if she can get into her lab she can quickly produce an aerosolized Orichalum nanodust which would render any processed vibranium in its spread inert. 

Suddenly Atlantean security ambushed the trio. While T’Challa’s suit is vulnerable to their weapons they fend off the security until Namor confronts them. Ororo and Shuri continue holding off security but are overwhelmed.T’Challa attempts to reason with Namor but Namor aggressively attacks. Eventually the three are captured and taken to an interrogation room.

Location: Wakanda Vibranium Vault

We see Doom pass the final test: after inhaling a powder derived from the Heart-shaped herb, he is transported to the spiritual plane and questioned by Bast, the Panther god, as past Black Panthers watch. He convinces Bast of the purity of his cause; that the Earth only survives if he is in control. He gets full access to Wakanda’s vault. 

He immediately puts an enchantment on it, and opens a portal ala Dr. Strange to his lab in Latveria.  Doombots begin transporting the vibranium out, and immediately begin upgrading themselves with it.

Location: Atlantean prison

During interrogation, T’Challa and the others continue to try and reason with Namor who initially doesn’t believe them. Slowly they begin to get Namor to concede to flaws in his own logic, but he keeps reverting back to distrust of Wakandans. When he is about to order them taken away to a prison cell, a large explosion rocks the facility.

Act 3: 

Location: Atlantis

T’Challa, Shuri, Ororo and Namor all take cover once the Doombots’ attack begins. We see this first wave has not been upgraded.

Namor says he still doesn’t trust them, but he can’t deny the evidence. “The enemy of my enemy... gets a stay of execution.” T’Challa annoyedly replies, “We beat this enemy now, and deal with the blood on your hands another day.”

The four, along with Atlantean security and defenses, are able to fend off the Doombots. Eventually it appears they have destroyed them all. 

With Atlantis seemingly saved, Namor attempts to betray the group and have security re-capture them, but Ororo manifests the beginnings of a hurricane inside of Atlantis which convinces Namor to stop. Now, 3 more Doombots arrive; upgrades. These are much harder to deal with, and take the combined might of the four to defeat, however one gets away with a book of Atlantean incantations. This convinces Namor that driving them from Atlantis is not enough. He pledges his honor to see the plan through, as long as T’Challa does also.

As the four leave Atlantis, Shuri manages to contact Okoye, who says she is healed and ready to fight, as are the border tribes and remaining Dora Milage. Shuri says they’ll need help to get into Wakanda without being shot down like last time. Okoye says a friend is waiting on her signal to give them a window.

Location: Doomstadt; Doom’s Castle & Lab

ROCKET RACCOON bifrosts into Latveria, infiltrates the Doombot lab and sabotages it. Doom gets an alert, and orders half of his reinforcements to return to Latveria. The scene plays out similar to Rocket’s solo scene in Guardians 2, but this time as he is surrounded by the returning upgraded Doombots he is Bifrosted out, leaving behind a bomb. While the bomb destroys the facility, the Doombots are little impacted and actually reflect and amplify the blast around themselves. We finally see them take off again for Wakanda.

Location: Wakanda

Storm helps Shuri get to her lab, while T’Challa and Namor arrive at the borderlands where both kings’ armies are fighting each other until their kings command them to stop. Namor informs his soldiers of the attack on Atlantis, while Black Panther describes how Latveria manipulated the animosity between them to weaken and plunder them both, and now they soon face an army of drones augmented with Wakandan science and Atlantean magic. At this moment the fleet of enhanced Doombots arrives and the battle is on.

Doom enters the battlefield standing atop a hill, insert a quippy comment on there never being a more literal “king of the hill” scenario in history as T’Challa and Namor both stand at the bottom ready to charge. Namor’s weapons do weaken his Doom’s vibranium enhanced armor, but he is skilled and powerful enough to fend off both attackers. 

Shuri radios asking what they can do now that the Doombots and the vibranium are all over Wakanda. T’Challa says stick with the plan, just cover the city rather than the vault. Storm says she can spread the blast wide enough once it goes off. She says she’ll need more time, and the last time she needed more time in a lab didn't work out too well.

The Wakandan/Atlantean forces seem to be getting overwhelmed, when suddenly the Jabari show up and join the battle. M’Baku tells Okoye “this means nothing more than I rather blood be spilt here than in my land. Once we fix your mistake we’re gone.” Okoye shakes her head and tries to explain the plan to him mid-fight without giving it away.

Shuri says she finished the bomb and needs to get to the city center for the plan to work. Storm flies her there with a wind funnel. Doom sees this and takes the fight in their direction.

Eventually with the battle going on around them, we see Doom blocking the path of the four heroes. Doom proclaims no four people on Earth could stop him, let alone them (“You four will try to stop me? That’s fantastic” or something like that), and why should they? He asks T’Challa what right he has stopping Doom when his own god Bast approves of his plan? Namor glares at T’Challa following that reference, who responds that even the gods can make mistakes..

Storm, Namor and Black Panther all take the fight to Doom. Doom tries to mind control Storm (T’Challa yells out her name when seeing this) but is stopped by Namor. T’Challa nods at Namor afterwards. Doom is not able to get an advantage going but showing himself able to fend off three combatants through the use of portals and spells and relying on his armor. 

Shuri is able to set the bomb in place, but before triggering it Doom creates a portal under her feet, dropping her back behind the others. T’Challa- who’d been knocked back- sees and quickly jumps through the portal in the opposite direction to take a place next to the bomb. Namor and Storm give their all to keep Doom fighting while Namor asks T’Challa what he’s waiting for. “Is this where you finally show your true colors?”

T’Challa sets off the Orichalum bomb as Namor watches on, shocked that T’Challa actually did it. Storm creates wind funnels to spread the nanodust across the city. While Doom manages to use a spell to shield himself, his augmented Doombot army and the vibranium based machines all over Wakanda (including the Black Panther suit) are rendered inert. 

Seeing that his Doombots cannot stand up to the remaining combined forces of Wakanda and Atlantis and that his grand prize is now worthless, Doom retreats to Latveria. Namor tells T’Challa “you don’t have my trust or my friendship, and peace remains to be seen, but you have earned my respect.” He then orders the Atlantean army to leave.

Shuri begins asking about the damage to the nation, and T’Challa speculates they’ll have to be careful with their use of vibranium for now, but in time they will mine from what remains underground and rebuild. M’Baku overhears and states “I thought maybe things could go back the way they should when you destroyed all this advanced tech, but I see nothing has changed with you. Don’t count me as an ally again.” His troops and him retreat to the mountains.

Epilogue:

Location: New Asgard

The animosity between Atlantis and Wakanda remains unsettled. However, the parties agree that following the myriad attacks and threats discovered over the past decade- and their weakened states- they can’t ignore each other. T’Challa reveals after studying the treaty he re-enacted a forgotten aspect of it- the Council of Illumination, made up of representatives from all Treaty nations as well as other parties invited by the Council. 

T’Challa tells Shuri the Council’s first task will be locating Attilan; he wants her to help with that, but only after investigating how Ororo got her powers. As T’Challa opens the doors to enter the meeting you can see the other Illuminati- members of the current Council: Namor, Valkyrie, Dr. Strange and Nick Fury. Also visible are some empty chairs suggesting room to grow.

Post Credit Scenes:

Scene 1 - Location: Wakanda Design Group

T’Challa approaches Shuri’s lab and asks what she wanted to talk about. She mentions how after signing the original treaty Atlantis sank while Asgard and it seems Attilan escaped to the stars. T’Challa asked where she’s going with this.

She replies that maybe they should consider something similar, and shows him on a screen a planet she detected using SWORD satellites, with spectrometer readings indicating both a massive abundance of Vibranium, and the ability to support life. She calls it Bast.

Scene 2 - Location: Storm’s Home in a borderland village

Ororo receives a message from Shuri stating that nothing anomalous has turned up so far, but they will keep looking and if needed run more tests, and assures Ororo that they will learn to understand her powers. She then lies down and closes her eyes. A beat after laying down we hear a male voice say “I have your answers, Ororo. Meet me outside the cloak and I will explain everything you want to know.” and her eyes open wide.

Scene 3 - Location: Doomstadt

Doom is berating the scientist who helped him discover Atlantis’ existence due to the plan failing, and kills him. As the scientist dies, his skin turns blue revealing himself to be a Kree sleeper agent. Doom looks at his body as if puzzled for a moment, then cuts off his arm for study and vaporizes the rest of the body.

Links to Past Movies:

I have to make some assumptions about preceding Phase 4 movies, such as The Eternals. For the story's sake, I assume:

  • the rumors Eternals will show the sinking of Atlantis to be true, 
  • that it will be connected to the asteroid which seeded Wakanda with Uranium, and
  • Eternals will show both Atlantis and Asgard to have been offshoots of the Eternal race, giving them all a similar capacity for both abilities, knowledge and technological advancement.

These assumptions help ground Atlantis' place in the world, making them easier to understand and relate to since we already know Asgardians and Eternals. Connecting Atlantis' sinking to Wakanda gives a foundational reason for their animosity.

The attack in the prologue is the earthquake referenced in Endgame.

Act 1's opening is meant to parallel the Black Panther early scene of them returning to Wakanda in the Panther jet.

I would show a Ravager ship landing in the background as T’Challa/Shuri arrive in New Asgard. This would be how Rocket is able to have his cameo appearance. Rocket's cameo could be replaced with an Eternal, but I like his skillset/personality for this sort of mission, and he has prior connections to both Asgardians and Wakandans thanks to Infinity War & Endgame.

Doom and Latveria would be strongly rooted in MCU history. I imagine Latveria as a breakaway Sokovian state (so Sokovia as a nation is not gone). The Doombots would be visually based on the Ultron drones, due to Doom seizing control of the facilities used to produce them. While not stated outright here, I imagine Doom's sorcery to be based on tapping into the power of the atomized Infinity Stones which has spread throughout the universe, so his spells would appear similar to how the Stones' abilities work (light blue glow in the eyes of mind-controlled people, etc).

I felt it would make sense for New Asgard to agree to the Sokovia Accords in some form as part of settling on Earth. They are a whole nation of “enhanced individuals” after all. Rocket, not being the type to agree to the Accords, would be someone they'd call on to work around them.

T’Challa’s willingness to sacrifice much of Wakand’s vibranium tech is driven by recognizing the consequences of his decisions to share that tech with the world, as pointed out by both M’Baku and Namor throughout the story.

Setups for the Future:

The “Treaty of the Illuminated” serves two w orld-building roles for the future:

  • Explaining why all these advanced societies on (or connected to) Earth remained hidden and avoided detection. 
  • Set up the ‘Council of Illumination’ (aka the Illuminati) with a built-in reason for its initial membership. The epilogue officially unveils the initial members, and their initial mission (locating Atttilan- which will lead to the Inhumans).

The visit to New Asgard will show their continued development as a nation on Earth. Building up New Asgard’s growth plants a seed for a potential Siege adaptation down the line.

It's not clearly spelled out here, but I would want the story to hint through dialogue/character moments at a romantic connection between Black Panther and Storm, which would matter more in the future.

Having Doom face down the four heroes together is an intended homage to his comic battles with the Fantastic Four, and hopefully foreshadows future MCU battles with them.  I felt the foursome works as an analogue for the First Family given the bro/sis duo, one being a genius scientist, a no-nonsense powerhouse character, and a rash acting person named Storm.

The story sets up M’Baku for a bigger antagonist role in the future, while also limiting the widescale use of Wakanda's vibranium tech. As stated, they can mine more vibranium, but are currently vulnerable and will need to pull back from the world for a while to rebuild. This scales back the technological development of MCU-Earth but keeps it relatable to the audience.

The first post-credit scene sets up an adaptation of the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda storyline, giving Black Panther a potential place in the cosmic MCU.

Post-credit scene #2 is obviously hinting at Charles Xavier making contact with Storm and assembling the X-Men.

The last one sets up Doom for a role in the Secret Invasion storyline to be adapted (maybe?) in Captain Marvel 2.

...Whew! That was a lot. I hope it was worth the effort

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