When Denzel Washington was honored with the 47th AFI Life Achievement Award in 2019, Chadwick Boseman was one of the actors who gave a speech in his honor. During the speech, one of the things he said was that “there is no Black Panther without Denzel Washington.” And here we are, 3 years later, reminiscing on late Chadwick’s words from “Black Panther” (2018) when he said, “I never yielded and as you can see, I’m not dead.” Indeed, the spirit of the Black Panther lives strong.
San Diego Comic-Con 2022 finally unveiled the “Black Panther 2” teaser that Marvel fans had been waiting for a long time. More than anything else, what makes “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” significant is the legacy of a character it will carry forward, one that the great Chadwick Boseman immortalized, i.e., the Black Panther.
The teaser reveals all the characters that will return as well as two new highly-anticipated characters, namely Tenoch Huerta’s Namor (Marvel’s Aquaman) and Dominique Thorne’s Riri Williams, AKA Ironheart. After much of the controversy that Letitia Wright was involved in due to her comments over COVID vaccinations, the teaser reveal is a big sigh of relief. Director Ryan Coogler is back to direct the second part, and the visuals are stunning, especially the underwater scenes showcasing the Atlanteans and Namor. Ludwig Göransson is back with his mesmerizing music, which we get to hear a stretch of throughout the teaser.
As for the returning cast, we have Letitia Wright as Shuri, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Winston Duke as M’Baku, and Martin Freeman as Everett Ross. We do not know if Michael B. Jordan will return as Killmonger. We hope he does.
Based on the teaser, it is clear that the Wakandans and Atlanteans will take up arms against each other; the Wakandans led by Shuri, if not Ramonda, and Atlantis led by Namor. However, it is unlikely for Namor to be the antagonist, so there will be someone else who will be the villain. Culture will be a significant aspect of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” since both Wakanda and Atlantis are tribes that are proud of their ways of life, customs, and traditions. Furthermore, the film will, in all probability, not show the death of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), but the story will pay tribute to him, as we see in the teaser. The scene where Shuri and others are clad in white is probably at T’Challa’s funeral. The film will also be the debut of Riri Williams, aka Ironheart, in the MCU before she gets her own Disney+ series. In the comics, Riri hails from Chicago and is a student at MIT, where she meets Tony Stark. She also makes her own Iron-Man suit. In the teaser, we see her working in Shuri’s lab, and they are pretty well acquainted unless they are friends. It remains to be seen how the two meet. Also, the introduction of Riri Williams brings in the possibility of a Tony Stark Easter Egg since he was crucial to her character arc. We also see her making her suit when she hammers the heart symbol onto a piece of metal which might or might not be Vibranium. The scene is an emotional reminder of Tony Stark hammering his Mark I into shape inside the Afghanistan cave in Iron Man (2008).
The last shot of the teaser trailer shows a person donning the Black Panther suit that is now black and gold, quite like the Killmonger suit. We will have to wait to see who will wear it, whether it is Shuri or Killmonger. Or is it Nakia?
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is expected to hit the theater screens on 11th November, 2022.