Ever since the film was announced, fans have wondered what the Black Panther sequel was going to be about. T’Challa became the King of Wakanda during the events of the first film, and was set to develop further as a character. However, after the passing of Chadwick Boseman, plans for Ryan Coogler’s sequel became unclear.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige recently confirmed that the character would not be re cast or replaced with an CGI animated Chadwick Boseman, leading to fans further speculating what the fate of T’Challa will be. It seems that the character will be written out of the MCU, either through death or some other circumstance. The release of the MCU’s Phase 4 release dates revealed that the film will be titled Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, with the film honouring the legacy of the late Chadwick Boseman. Black Panther star Lupita Nyong’o commented on the second film, stating that the way Coogler has reshaped the film was respectful of Boseman and what he brought to the character.
“And 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. 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.”– Lupita Nyong’o (via Yahoo! News)
With the reveal of the title, and the announcement of a Kingdom of Wakanda series coming to Disney+, it seems that the Black Panther franchise is heading in the direction of moving the focus away from the Black Panther character and more towards the country of Wakanda. This leads many to believe that the film, whilst including the Black Panther part of the title, the focus will be on the wider world of Wakanda and the supporting characters from the original movie. Actors such as Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright and Winston Duke are all likely to be front and centre in carrying the franchise into the future, with Wright’s Shuri rumoured to take up the mantle of the Black Panther.
Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger has been rumoured to return to the fold, even though the actor has stated that a reappearance is unlikely. Still, there are many fans who would love Killmonger return as an anti-hero, and with the absence of Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa, it could indeed be possible. While he is unlikely to appear in the sequel (with the actor only discovering the title of the film when the rest of us did), the story of developing the world and supporting characters of Wakanda could lead to his return.
While it may seem difficult to continue the story without T’Challa, with some fans even campaigning to recast the character, the Black Panther story seems to be continuing with more of a focus on the country of Wakanda. While specific details have not been revealed for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the title suggests that this exploration of the country will begin in this film, as well as creating a tribute for T’Challa and Chadwick Boseman.