‘Black Panther 2’: 1st Reactions, Rihanna’s Song, & More To Know – Hollywood Life

‘Black Panther 2’: The New Black Panther & More You Need To Know

'Black Panther 2' is finally here. From the cast to the end credits scene, this is your go-to destination for all things 'Wakanda Forever.'

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the film of the fall movie season. The highly-anticipated film will undoubtedly be one of the top-grossing movies of the year. The nearly 3-hour film is full of epic moments, heartbreaking deaths, and that Black Panther reveal. Wakanda Forever is a triumph that honors Chadwick Boseman beautifully.

The first Black Panther movie was released in 2018 and became one of the top-grossing movies of all time, with Chadwick leading the way as the legendary T’Challa/Black Panther. The film went on to make over $1.3 billion at the worldwide box office and is currently #14 at the all-time worldwide box office.

The sequel looks and feels very different in the wake of Chadwick’s tragic death from colon cancer in 2020 at the age of 43. Despite the loss of Black Panther himself, the cast and crew came together to honor the character and the actor. HollywoodLife had rounded up everything you need to know, including if there will be a third Black Panther movie.

Black Panther 2 End Credits Scene

As with so many Marvel movies, there is a Black Panther: Wakanda Forever end credits scene. The magnitude of this scene is unparalleled. Shuri travels to Haiti to visit Nakia after defeating Namor and becoming the new Black Panther. While on the beach, Nakia introduces Shuri to her son, Toussaint.

“This is my son,” Nakia says to Shuri. She tells her little boy, “This is your auntie, Shuri.” Toussaint, played by newcomer Divine Love Konadu-Sun, is the son of Nakia and the late T’Challa. Nakia reveals that they were prepared for T’Challa’s death and Ramonda was able to meet Toussaint before she died.

Black Panther 2 Reviews

HollywoodLife called Black Panther: Wakanda Forever a “cinematic tour de force that navigates grief, anger, and change in the wake of King T’Challa’s death.” Our review praised to cast’s performances and called the film a “gorgeous tribute to Chadwick’s legacy.”

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was praised by critics following the film’s world premiere in Los Angeles on October 26. Critics called the film “outstanding” and “beautiful” while praising how it paid tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman. Namor’s appearance was also mentioned as a major highlight in the film. See some of the critic reactions below.

Black Panther 2 Trailers

The first official teaser trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever debuted on July 23 at San Diego Comic-Con. The trailer shows Nakia, Shuri, Ramonda, Okoye, and the rest of Wakanda mourning the loss of T’Challa. Tenoch Huerta makes his first appearance as Namor in the trailer, as well as Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams, a.k.a. Ironheart, and Michaela Coel as Aneka.

“I am Queen of the most powerful nation in the world, and my entire family is gone! Have I not given everything?” Ramonda asks in the trailer. The final moments of the trailer reveal a new character wearing the Black Panther suit. Is it Shuri, Nakia, or someone else?!

Director Ryan Coogler spoke about how the entire cast and crew put their “love” for Chadwick into the sequel. “Chad is no longer with us physically but his spirit, his passion, his genius, his pride in his culture and the impact that he made on this industry will be felt forever,” Ryan said on stage. “We put our love for Chadwick into this film and we also put our passion. It’s a roller coaster of a movie.”

An extended Black Panther 2 trailer was screened to the audience at the D23 Expo on September 10. It shows a war brewing between Wakanda and the UN, as Ramonda declares, “The King is dead. The Black Panther is gone. They have lost the protector.” The trailer also features glimpses of Namor, Iron Heart, and the mysterious new Black Panther.

“It was just an amazing experience and we absolutely looking forward to bringing it to you,” Ryan said on stage at the D23 Expo. “This is the calm before the amazing storm. Our heart Chadwick, he paved the way – he showed us the way – and we had to meet his level of excellence.”

On October 3, Marvel Studios dropped the latest trailer. “Only the most broken people, can be great leaders,” Tenoch Huerta’s Namor says in the trailer. M’Baku tells his people that killing Namor could bring “eternal war.” Shuri warns that Namor is “coming for the surface world.” The final moments of the trailer reveal the new Black Panther making her grand debut.

Angela Bassett
Angela Bassett as Ramonda. (Marvel Studios)

Riri/Ironheart also gets some major screen time in the trailer. “The film deals with a lot of things, but one of them is foils — people who exist in contrast, but there’s a thread of similarity,” Coogler revealed to EW after the latest trailer release. “In this film, we get to see Shuri meet someone who has some things in common with her, but is also very, very different.”

Black Panther 2 Soundtrack

Rihanna (Photo: Scott Garfitt/Shutterstock)

The Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack will feature Rihanna’s new song “Lift Me Up,” which was created in tribute to Chadwick Boseman. Rihanna co-wrote the song with Tems, producer Ludwig Göransson, and director Ryan Coogler. “Lift Me Up” comes out October 28 and is Rihanna’s first new solo song in six years, since her 2016 song “Sledgehammer” which appeared on the Star Trek Beyond soundtrack. Rihanna, who gave birth to her first child earlier this year, has taken a break from music to focus on her businesses and her family.

Where Black Panther Left Off

The character of Black Panther was first introduced in Captain America: Civil War, which was released in 2016. In a post-credits scene, fans got their first glimpse of the Kingdom of Wakanda, T’Challa’s home. Bucky Barnes was granted asylum in Wakanda and returned to cryogenic sleep until a cure for his brainwashing was discovered.

When Black Panther begins, T’Challa has returned to Wakanda to take over the throne after his father’s death. After a Wakandan artifact is stolen by black-market arms dealer Ulysses Klaue and accomplice Erik “Killmonger” Stevens, T’Challa decides to go to South Korea with Okoye and Nakia to track Klaue down. T’Challa crosses paths with CIA agent Everett K. Ross. Ross is injured when Killmonger attacks and T’Challa takes Ross to Wakanda to save him.

Eventually, T’Challa discovers that Killmonger is the son of N’Jobu, the late King T’Chaka’s brother. Killmonger kills Klaue and brings him to Wakanda. He issues a claim to the throne and challenges T’Challa to ritual combat. During this battle, Killmonger defeats T’Challa and throws him over a waterfall. Killmonger takes over the throne and prepares to send Wakandan weapons around the world.

Michael B Jordan
Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger. (Everett Collection/Marvel Studios)

T’Challa did not die when he was thrown over the waterfall. He was rescued by the Jabari Tribe because he spared M’Baku’s life during an earlier fight. T’Challa recovers and returns to Wakanda to fight Killmonger. As T’Challa and Killmonger face-off, the rest of the crew — including Nakia, the Dora Milaje, and T’Challa’s sister Shuri — goes head-to-head with W’Kabi and his army. M’Baku and the Jabari arrive to serve as back-up for T’Challa.

During their fight, T’Challa stabs Killmonger. T’Challa takes him to the waterfall where they once fought. Killmonger rejects any help to save his life. He tells T’Challa he wants to die a free man. In the wake of Killmonger’s death, T’Challa creates an outreach center where N’Jobu died. The first post-credits scene features T’Challa addressing the United Nations and revealing the truth about Wakanda. The second post-credits scene features Bucky speaking with Shuri after waking from his cryogenic sleep.

What’s In Store For Black Panther 2?

The Black Panther sequel was first confirmed in October 2018, just months after the release of the first movie. In 2018, Ryan Coogler revealed to ScreenRant that he was excited to explore T’Challa’s journey as a king. “I’d be really interested to see, you know, what kind of king he is with experience and how that affects his performance in the stories,” Coogler said at the time.

Coogler revealed to Inverse how Black Panther 2 would have played out if Chadwick was in it. “The tonal shift, I will say, was less of a shift than in [casting],” the director explained. “The tone was going to be similar. The character was going to be grieving the loss of time, you know, coming back after being gone for five years. As a man with so much responsibility to so many, coming back after a forced five years absence, that’s what the film was tackling. He was grieving time he couldn’t get back. Grief was a big part of it.” Coogler also confirmed that Namor was always intended to be the antagonist. “There were other characters, for sure, that we considered including,” Coogler said. “Namor was always there.”

Marvel has not revealed how T’Challa’s absence in the wake of Chadwick’s death will be addressed in the sequel, but Black Panther star Lupita Nyong’o revealed that Coogler has “reshaped” the Black Panther sequel to honor Chadwick.

“His idea, the way which he has reshaped the second movie is so respectful of the loss we’ve all experienced as a cast and as a world,” Lupita told Yahoo in April 2021. “So it feels spiritually and emotionally correct to do this. And hopefully, what I do look forward to, is getting back together and honoring what he started with us and holding his light through it. Because he left us a lot of light that we’re still going to be bathing in. I know that for sure.”

In a new cover story for Variety, director Ryan Coogler revealed how the process for building the Black Panther sequel began in the wake of Chadwick’s death. “Where we started was this idea of who would be the most affected by his loss,” Ryan said “Shuri had never known a day without him. He’d always been there, so she would be the most unmoored by him passing away.”

As for a third Black Panther movie or directing Secret Wars, Ryan simply said, “I can tell you definitively I have no idea what I’m doing next,” he told the outlet.

Letitia Wright
Letitia Wright as Shuri. (Everett Collection/Marvel Studios)

After the latest trailer was released on October 3, Coogler told EW about honoring Chadwick and dealing with the Black Panther family’s grief, “I had to find a way that I felt like I could keep going and a way that our Black Panther family could keep going. I started to come up with a film that had elements of the film that we had just finished writing, but also applied the themes that the people who were hurting just as much as me could actually perform and execute and come out on the other side whole.”

Lupita Nyong’o said she initially “dreaded” filming Black Panther 2 without Chadwick. “It was unfathomable to me. But Ryan managed to honor his life and his role in both the film and our lives with his moving, truthful, and clear vision,” she told Entertainment Weekly in October 2022.

Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia (Photo: Marvel)

In the Marvel comics, Shuri has taken on the role of Black Panther, and many fans assume that will happen in the sequel. Shuri “may take on a more prominent role” in the sequel, according to The Hollywood Reporter. However, Marvel has not confirmed any plot points yet

Letitia revealed to Entertainment Weekly that Shuri has “buried herself in her technology” in the aftermath of T’Challa’s death. “We haven’t seen that on a major scale, where there’s a young Black woman who’s a princess, and she’s also a scientist,” actress explained. “I have this feeling of pride when a young woman comes up to me and says, “Hey, you made me feel smart in school, and you made me feel like I can be in technology alongside a man, and I feel empowered.’ That has changed my life forever.”

Black Panther 2 began filming in June 2021. Production mainly took place in Atlanta. The movie — officially titled Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — will be released on November 11, 2022. In August 2021, Letitia Wright was hospitalized while filming a stunt in Boston. She went back to her home in London to recover as filming continued. Dorothy Steel, who played a Wakandan elder, died on October 15 while she was in the midst of production.

In October 2021, Disney decided to delay the release of several films, including Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness jumped to Black Panther’s original release date of May 6. Thor: Love and Thunder moved to July 8, while Black Panther Wakanda Forever went from July 8 to November 11.

The sequel was originally supposed to release on May 6, 2022, with production starting in March 2021, but Chadwick’s death delayed filming. No one at Marvel knew of Chadwick’s battle with cancer at the time of his passing on August 28, 2020.

Who Will Be Replacing Chadwick Boseman?

Chadwick’s role as King T’Challa was not recast for Black Panther 2, Disney confirmed in December 2020 during Disney Investor Day. “Honoring Chadwick Boseman’s legacy & portrayal of T’Challa, will not recast the character, but will explore the world of Wakanda & the rich characters introduced in the first film,” Disney tweeted.

During Disney Investor Day, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said, “To honor the legacy that Chad helped us build through his portrayal of the king of Wakanda, we want to continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film.”

Feige added that Black Panther 2 would not have a “CG Chadwick” either. “So much of the comics and that first movie is the world of Wakanda,” Feige told Deadline in January 2021. “Wakanda is a place to further explore with characters and different subcultures. This was always and initially the primary focus of the next story. We’re not going to have a CG Chadwick and we’re not recasting T’Challa. Ryan Coogler is working very hard right now on the script with all the respect and love and genius that he has, which gives us great solace, so it was always about furthering the mythology and the inspiration of Wakanda. There’s also the task of honoring and respecting the ongoing learnings and teachings from Chad as well.”

Regé-Jean Page
Regé-Jean Page at the ‘Roots’ premiere. (Shutterstock)

In the months after Chadwick’s death, rumors have swirled about who will take on the Black Panther mantle. After the massive success of Bridgerton, there was speculation breakout star Regé-Jean Page would be joining the sequel. He addressed the rumor during his Variety cover interview. “I spend a lot of time at the moment talking about what other people are saying about me, as opposed to anything I’m actually doing,” he said. Regé-Jean added, while also talking about those Bond rumors, “I can’t talk about which jobs I’m not doing, because I’m not doing them, [but] I’m very happy with the work I am doing. I’ve been a huge fan of the types of movies that the MCU has been putting out, that have made it possible to do the kind of work I’m doing now, both directly and indirectly.”

Is The New Black Panther A Woman?

Letitia Wright
Letitia Wright as Shuri (Photo: Marvel)

The full trailer for Black Panther 2 confirmed that a woman is the new Black Panther after T’Challa’s death. Fans suspected Shuri is the new Black Panther since she has her arms crossed like T’Challa on the film’s official poster. Some fans thought the new Black Panther could be Nakia since she has way more combat experience.

The new Black Panther is revealed in the sequel. Shuri follows her brother as Black Panther after recreating the Heart-Shaped Herb and updating her suit. She faces off against Namor. Shuri almost lets her anger take over, but she spares Namor’s life and shows him mercy. As Shuri takes on the Black Panther mantle, she decides to not become Queen of Wakanda in the wake of her mother’s death. This allows M’Baku to become King of Wakanda.

Black Panther 2 Cast & Crew

Original Black Panther cast members Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Danai Gurira, and Angela Bassett are returning for Black Panther 2. Black Panther director Ryan Coogler is returning to write and direct Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will also be back as a producer.

In a November 2022 interview with Variety, Letitia finally opened up about the on-set injuries she suffered while filming the sequel. While shooting a chase sequence in Boston, Letitia was on a “biscuit rig” that allowed the camera to shoot her riding a motorcycle in a real environment. “It clipped a median and sheared the bike off, and it tumbled,” producer Nate Moore said. Letitia had to be hospitalized for a fractured shoulder, a concussion, and more. “I’m still processing it,” Letitia revealed. “I’m still working through it in therapy. It was really traumatic.”

Ryan Coogler
Ryan Coogler with Chadwick Boseman on the ‘Black Panther’ set. (Everett Collection/Marvel Studios)

Tenoch Huerta will be playing Namor, the leader of a new kingdom called Talocan. In the comics, Namor rules over Atlantis, but Talocan was created for the film and inspired by ancient Mayan culture. Coogler explained the reasoning behind Namor’s unique look. “I think with making these types of movies, you’ve got to lean into the weird stuff, or you risk missing what makes it fun,” Coogler told EW. “He’s got really unique features and things that don’t necessarily go together. He can breathe underwater, obviously, but he’s got these little wings on his ankles. He’s got pointy ears and walks around in his underwear. It’s all fun, man.”

Tenoch stressed that Namor is not Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s big bad. “Latin-Americans are always the bad guys in Hollywood movies. And now we are the heroes — or an anti-hero, in this instance,” Tenoch told Empire, according to Comic Book Resources.

In an EW interview, Tenoch explained that the “most important twist” for his character is that Namor “is not a selfish person.” The actor continued, “He’s taking care of a community. He’s not an individualist. He’s part of a tribe.”

Tenoch Huerta as Namor (Photo: Marvel)

Martin Freeman confirmed in March 2021 that he would be reprising his role of Everett K. Ross. “I’m going to be speaking to Ryan Coogler soon about what shape that’s going to look like. I have no idea about the script [so] I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he told Collider in March 2021.

Oscar-winner Daniel Kaluuya, who played W’Kabi, revealed recently that he would not be returning for the sequel. He was asked to return, but he had a scheduling conflict with Jordan Peele’s Nope, according to Variety.

While Killmonger died at the end of Black Panther, Michael B. Jordan was asked about possibly returning for the sequel. “There’s always a love I have for those characters and Erik is definitely one of those that means a lot to me,” he told Entertainment Tonight. “So only if it’s the right thing and it’s impactful and if I could add something to it. If it means something then, yeah, I wanna be a part of that journey, you know?”