A screenshot of a T'Challa tribute in Wakanda Forever
The New Black Panther 2 Trailer Will Give You Full-Body Chills

Is it possible to be heartbroken and totally pumped at the same time?

by Ani Bundel
Originally Published: 
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. Upon Boseman’s passing, he had to start his script for the sequel from scratch. But these details about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever prove Coogler and the franchise series have found a way forward.

The average comics fan might not understand why losing Boseman would be a big deal to Marvel. Superheroes change identities the way most people change outfits. The films change lead actors just as quickly, sometimes leading to multiple actors playing different versions of the same characters simultaneously. But Boseman’s performance was groundbreaking, and his character, King T’Challa, was closely identified to him. Moreover, the tragic and sudden nature of his passing made the role a pair of shoes no Black actor would want to step into right away. Whoever took the part 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 immediately.

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

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Trailers

The first 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 he 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.

The second full-length trailer arrived timed to the ticket pre-sales for Wakanda Forever. Marvel released the new look at the film — which confirmed its central plot — on Monday, Oct 3.

The new trailer nearly overshadowed the pre-sale, as it also confirmed a new hero is emerging — though their identity remains a mystery for now.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever First Photos

The first images from Wakanda Forever arrived at the end of September, with four pictures showing the film’s ensemble cast. Actor Winston Duke, who plays M’Baku, posted them on his Instagram, starting with his character’s image. Scroll through to see pictures of Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia all in mourning white, Angela Bassett and Letitia Wright as Romonda and Shuri, a behind-the-scenes look at the Dora Milaje, and the first stills of Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams and Michaela Coel as Aneka.

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 passing in October 2021.)

In November 2020, The Hollywood Reporter reported that 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

Details for Black Panther’s sequel were kept tightly under wraps even before the film needed to reconfigure itself around Boseman’s passing. The official synopsis, according to, also gave little away. However, with the release of the second trailer came the film’s first official logline.

To summarize, the new film begins with Queen Ramonda, Shuri, M’Baku, Okoye, and the Dora Milaje fighting to protect Wakanda from world powers bent on intervening now that T’Challa has passed. But other countries are just the tip of the iceberg, as the underwater kingdom of Talocan also has eyes on Wakanda, and it will take everyone, including Nakia and Everett Ross, to ensure the country’s continued survival.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Theories

Then there’s that ending to the first 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 that he does not appear 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” in the first trailer mean Namor kidnaped her daughter, 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 passing 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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