Black Panther 2 (aka Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) just got one of its biggest, and we mean that literally, stars back. And if you guessed it already, you know we'll be laughing as we go through all the feels of the upcoming Marvel movie.
And expect the set leaks to begin, as Black Panther 2 just began production, out of the Pinewood Studios in Atlanta. the subject of a lot of fan discussion these days. Currently, rumors posit that a major MCU hero will cameo in the film (but the source isn't exactly proven). That said, most of the conversation surrounding Black Panther 2 is speculation as to how to fill the giant void in the MCU after losing star Chadwick Boseman to colon cancer last year.
Director Ryan Coogler recently said, "I know Chad wouldn't have wanted us to stop." That said, Coogler's also guaranteed that Boseman won't come back in a CGI cameo, only to have the conversation to turn to the question of MIchael B. Jordan's possible return. So how will Black Panther 2 find a new king? Or will it crown a queen? Yes, all eyes are on Shuri, (Letitia Wright), T'Challa's sister and princess of Wakanda, who has served as the Black Panther in the comics.
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Whether Wright becomes the new Black Panther is unclear, but Shuri will reportedly take on a bigger role in the sequel. Also expected to return are Lupita Nyong'o, Angela Bassett, Winston Duke and Martin Freeman.
The story details around Black Panther: Wakanda Forever are being kept tightly under wraps by Coogler and Marvel (no surprise). All Disney had to say during its Investor Day in December was that the movie would "continue to explore the incomparable world of Wakanda and all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film."
Here's everything we know so far about Black Panther 2, one of the upcoming Marvel movies and Disney Plus shows to keep an eye on.
Latest Black Panther 2 news (updated July 20)
- M'Baku will be back in Wakanda Forever. Winston Duke confirmed his return for the sequel.
- Michael B. Jordan, hot off a cameo in Space Jam 2, dodged the question of if he will be in Black Panther 2 in another interview.
- Production for Black Panther 2 began in June at the Pinewood Studios in Atlanta.
Black Panther 2 release date
Marvel has slated Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever for release on July 8, 2022.
The movie will almost certainly open in theaters and there is very little chance it will stream at the same time on Disney Plus. Marvel is doing a concurrent release with Black Widow this summer, but only because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. With vaccines rolling out and more theaters opening, the summer of 2022 looks to return to the "normal" moviegoing experience.
Black Panther 2 will be one of four Marvel movies opening next year, along with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (March 25, 2022), Thor: Love and Thunder (May 6, 2022) and Captain Marvel 2 (November 11, 2022).
Black Panther 2 trailer speculation
We expect the Black Panther 2 trailer to arrive in early 2022, per the production starting in June 2021.
And while we don't have an official trailer yet, we should note the Black Panther 2 title was revealed as "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" in this teaser clip below, promoting all of the big MCU Phase 4 movies. This set of previews for upcoming Marvel movies should have you wondering when you'll feel ready to go back to the movies.
Black Panther 2 cast and Michael B. Jordan
Boseman's untimely passing has left a huge hole in the center of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Coogler and Marvel have kept quiet about how they plan to address the absence of T'Challa, aka the Black Panther. However, they have adamantly stated that the role will not be recast nor will CGI be used to bring back Boseman.
Fans have speculated Letitia Wright may step up in her role as Princess Shuri. Perhaps the sequel will be more of an ensemble; after all, Disney did emphasize all "the rich and varied characters" to be further explored.
A new rumor, from Giant Freakin' Robot, claims that Sam Wilson (as Captain America) will be in Black Panther 2. It's not that weird, as his friend Bucky's spent a lot of time in Wakanda. Maybe Sam wants to check it out too.
In July 2021, Winston Duke confirmed that he will again play M'Baku in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The actor told Collider that "It was very emotional to read the script. It was emotional to pack to go back to set. But we're all a bit of a family now and we grieve together, and we're making something really special," said Duke.
Oh, and there's also the odd question of Michael B. Jordan's potential return. The actor has repeatedly fielded questions as to whether or not he'd bring Killmonger back to the screen, and he has not ruled it out — even though the character is dead. Jordan dodged the question in an interview on Jemele Hill's podcast (via Hypebeast), saying "If there’s anyone that’s going to figure it out, Ryan [Coogler] is going to figure it out. ... I haven’t gotten the information, one way or another so I’m not sure. But, whatever it is, they’re the right people to figure it out."
Besides Wright, the cast members expected to return for Black Panther 2 are:
- Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia, a War Dog (undercover spy) from the River Tribe
- Angela Bassett as Ramonda, the Queen Mother of Wakanda and T'Challa and Shuri's mother
- Winston Duke as M'Baku, leader of the Jabari mountain tribe
- Danai Gurira as Okoye, general of the Dora Milaje special forces
- Daniel Kaluuya as W'Kabi, head of security for the Border Tribe
- Forest Whitaker as Zuri, an elder statesman
- Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, a CIA agent
- Florence Kasumba as Ayo, a Dora Milaje warrior
Freeman is the least likely of the above, as his story may be complete as it relates to Wakanda. We shall see.
It's also possible that some events from the Marvel Disney Plus series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier lead into Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Ayo and several Dora Milaje members appear in the show. They have finally taken Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) back to Wakanda for justice. The Winter Soldier himself, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), known as the White Wolf in Wakanda, may also make a return trip.
Some new faces will also join the cast of Black Panther 2. Tenoch Huerta (Narcos: Mexico) will reportedly play one of the villains.
Black Panther 2 villains
Since Black Panther had two villains (Ulysses Klaue and Erik Killmonger), it's no surprise that Black Panther 2 may also have multiple villains. We do not know the role that Tenoch Huerta is going to play, but we do know that director Ryan Coogler wanted Kraven The Hunter in Black Panther.
The character wasn't available, due to Sony's ownership of Spider-Man-related IP, but maybe the relationship has since improved as Marvel and Sony patched things up about the Tom Holland Spider-Man movies.
Namor the Submariner is another rumored baddie for Black Panther 2, but we've got no confirmation there either.
Black Panther 2 plot speculation
Almost nothing is known about the story or plot of Black Panther 2. Coogler may still be writing the script. According to The Hollywood Reporter, filming on the sequel doesn't start until July.
Feige has dropped some tidbits that seem more like musings than hints. For instance, he hinted that future projects could explore Wakanda's past.
"There's that moment where all of the ancestors come behind T'Chaka," he recalled to Entertainment Weekly. "We would joke and go, 'I want to see… what's their story? What's that story? Who was Bashenga, the first king of Wakanda? Who's that third to the left, behind T'Chaka? What was their story in Wakanda in 1938? That would be cool'."
Then again, that could be the era explored in the Wakanda TV series that Disney Plus is developing.
For now, we don't know much, but stay tuned as more details slowly filter out in the coming months.
Black Panther 2 won't feature T'Challa
The subject of T'Challa's appearance in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the latest point of debate online. Back in December 2020, Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige said that the role of T'Challa will not be recast, following the passing of Chadwick Boseman.
More recently, Producer Nate Moore shot down the rumors of a CGI cameo featuring the likeness of the late Chadwick Boseman.
Some fans want the role to be re-cast, though. A Change.org petition demanding just that currently has more than 4,000 signatures.
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