Black Panther: Wakanda Forever release date and everything we know so far

Letitia Wright will return as Shuri in Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Black Panther 2 (aka Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) was the next upcoming Marvel movie, and it's now out. Our Black Panther: Wakanda Forever review is a utter rave, and calls the film "a tour de force that gets the MCU back on track." 

This brings us to the next big question of when to expect Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on Disney Plus. We wouldn't bet any later than January, but we've got specifics in that article.

Oh, and while it's technically the end of Phase 4, consider Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special as Phase 4's epilogue. And the good news is that it's not going to be without one of its most highly-anticipated stars, who was rumored to be at risk.

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.

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 Nov. 11)

Black Panther 2 release date

Marvel just pushed Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever to Nov. 11, 2022. It's one of a series of delays, with Thor: Love and Thunder taking its original July 8, 2022 date. This pushes The Marvels to 2023.

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 available out and more theaters opening, the summer of 2022 looks to return to the "normal" moviegoing experience.

Black Panther 2 trailer

The last Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer teased the next Black Panther's identity. 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

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab), Letitia Wright is going to be a part of Black Panther 2. Rumor had it that she may have been kicked out of the movie due to a reported reluctance to get the Covid-19 vaccine (opens in new tab). Fans have speculated Letitia Wright may step up in her role as Princess Shuri.

THR (opens in new tab) also reported that Winston Duke's M'Baku is going to have "an expanded role." In July 2021, Winston Duke confirmed that he will again play M'Baku in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The actor told Collider (opens in new tab) 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.

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.

A new rumor, from Giant Freakin' Robot (opens in new tab), 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.

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 (opens in new tab)), 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
  • Forest Whitaker as Zuri, an elder statesman
  • Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, a CIA agent
  • Florence Kasumba as Ayo, a Dora Milaje warrior

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) is playing Namor, the Submariner.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will introduce Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams, aka Ironheart. She's getting her own show in 2023.

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 (opens in new tab) 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 the expected main villain in Black Panther 2.

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 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab). "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 (opens in new tab) petition demanding just that currently has more than 4,000 signatures. 

Kelly Woo
Senior Writer

Kelly is a senior writer covering streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.