Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is going to be one of the biggest movies of 2022. After much hype and anticipation, the cast and director Ryan Coogler revealed the first footage of Black Panther 2 during the Marvel Studios panel at San Diego Comic-Con.
The first Black Panther movie was released in 2018 and became one of the top-grossing movies of all time. Chadwick Boseman led 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 #13 on the all-time worldwide box office.
The sequel will look and feel 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.
Black Panther 2 Teaser Trailer
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?!
Ryan 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.”
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.
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.
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 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.
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 will not be recast for Black Panther 2, Disney confirmed in December 2020 during Disney Investor Day. “Honoring Chadwick Boseman’s legacy & portrayal of T’Challa, @MarvelStudios will not recast the character, but will explore the world of Wakanda & the rich characters introduced in the first film,” Disney tweeted.
Black Panther 2, opening July 8, 2022, is being written & directed by Ryan Coogler. Honoring Chadwick Boseman’s legacy & portrayal of T’Challa, @MarvelStudios will not recast the character, but will explore the world of Wakanda & the rich characters introduced in the first film.
— Disney (@Disney) December 11, 2020
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.”
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.”
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.
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?”