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A screenshot of a T'Challa tribute in Wakanda Forever

Twitter Is Obsessed With This One Shot From The Wakanda Forever Trailer

Whose butt is that??

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Marvel Studios

When Chadwick Boseman passed away in August 2020, it was a shock to fans everywhere. Of course, it was also a blow to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Boseman had kept his cancer diagnosis private; not even the screenwriter and director of Black Panther, Ryan Coogler, knew about it. Therefore, he had to start his script for Black Panther’s sequel from scratch upon Boseman’s death. But these details about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever suggest the series has found a way forward.

The average comics fan might not understand why Boseman’s death would be a big deal to Marvel. Superhero films change lead actors the way most characters change outfits. But Boseman’s performance was groundbreaking, and his character, King T’Challa, was closely identified to him. Moreover, his passing’s tragic and sudden nature made it a pair of shoes no Black actor would want to step into. Whoever took the role next would be measured against Boseman’s performance and would be found lacking simply for not being Boseman. Marvel could eventually recast the character, but not right away.

But the show would have to go on. And from all the details from Marvel’s debut of the trailer, it seems Coogler has found a way to make it work. Here’s everything to know about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Trailer

The trailer for Wakanda Forever arrived during Marvel Studios’ return to the San Diego Comic-Con in July 2022. Director Ryan Coogler gave a moving speech about how the last time he stood there, Boseman was with him and said felt his presence once again.

The cast also talked about Boseman’s spirit with them as they filmed. “Our call sheets didn’t have a No. 1,” Lupita Nyong’o said, referring to the terminology that designates when the lead actor in a film is on set. “That was reserved for Chadwick. He was with us.”

That sense of grief and rising from the ashes permeates the new trailer, which shows glimpses of Wakandan cultural life, including a funeral, a birthing, and what may be the rise of a new Black Panther.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Cast

Marvel Studios

Before filming commenced for Wakanda Forever, Marvel officially confirmed Boseman will not be in it. (That includes no CGI version of the actor either.) Nor will a new actor come in and take the role of T’Challa. Michael B. Jordan’s character will also not return, despite persistent rumors that he will. Also, Daniel Kaluuya will not be back as W’Kabi, as filming for Nope directly conflicted, preventing him from doing both.

But the rest of the core cast will return. That includes Letitia Wright as Shuri, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda, Winston Duke as M’Baku, and Martin Freeman is also expected to return as CIA agent and friend of Wakanda, Everett K. Ross. Also spotted in the trailer. Isaach de Bankolé, the late Dorothy Steel, and Danny Sapani reprising their roles as the Wakandan River Tribe, Merchant Tribe, and Border Tribe elders. (Steel’s role will be her final on-screen appearance after her passing in October 2021.)

In November 2020, The Hollywood Reporter reported Tenoch Huerta (Narcos: Mexico) was joining the film as a yet-undisclosed antagonist, who has since been revealed to be Namor, the king of a race of underwater dwelling people. And in July 2021, Variety reported BAFTA winner Michaela Coel, best known for the critically acclaimed HBO series I May Destroy You, was also joining the cast. She will play Aneka. The trailer also confirmed the rumor that Dominique Thorne (If Beale Street Could Talk) will debut in this film as Ironheart, aka Riri Williams, before headlining her own titular series on Disney+.

Also confirmed at SDCC: Mabel Cadena as Namora and Alex Livinalli as Attuma.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Plot

Marvel Studios

So far, other than what one can surmise from the film’s title, details for Black Panther’s sequel has been kept tightly under wraps. The official synopsis, according to Marvel.com, also gives little away:

Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will continue to explore the incomparable world of Wakanda and all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film.

However, the trailer does hint at more tragedy to come. Though the Wakanda Forever trailer is more about feels than plot, Romana’s address to the UN Council should strike fear into the hearts of fans everywhere: “My entire family is gone,” she declares. Her entire family? Not just T’Challa, but Shuri too? Viewers should be worried.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Theories

Then there’s that ending to the trailer, which has the entire fandom in an uproar, asking the same question: “Whose butt is that?”

The going theory is that Michael B. Jordan’s claims the he’s not appearing in the film aren’t valid, and Killmonger will make a reappearance. But how, one might ask? If his body was thrown into the sea, Namor could have found it and... resurrected him? Zombiefied him? Maybe these seem far-fetched, but the gold suit was Killmonger’s... There are also theories Namor is in the suit, having taken it from Killmonger’s body, which seems more likely.

But not every theory is so concerning. Some wonder if the birthing scene is Nakia and that’s T’Challa’s child being born. Would Nakia take up the suit in his absence until their child is of age? Could Romana saying Shuri is “gone” mean her daughter was kidnapped by Namor, and she’s escaped and returned in the suit to save Wakanda? (Heck, could it be Romana taking up the mantle?)

More posterior reporting to come.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Release Date

Marvel Studios

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was initially planned to arrive in Marvel's preeminent May debut slot. But the death of Boseman delayed the original January 2021 filming start date, bumping the premiere first to July and then back again to the fall.

The new finalized premiere date is now for the awards season corridor spot of November 11, 2022.

The first Black Panther movie is streaming on Disney+.

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