He may have been decimated by Thanos at the end of “Avengers: Infinity War,” but King T’Challa will live to see another day.
“Black Panther” shattered box office records following its February 2018 release, grossing $US1.3 billion worldwide and $US700 million domestically. For Marvel Studios, that’s enough to warrant a sequel.
The film follows the life of the titular character Black Panther, also known as King T’Challa, as he grapples with the responsibility of leading his technology-advanced African nation Wakanda following the sudden death of his father T’Chaka. An enigma to the outside world, Wakana boasts the world’s most powerful element, vibranium. Despite his attempts to shield his country from participating in foreign affairs, T’Challa’s estranged cousin, and the film’s villain Erik Killmonger has other intentions.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige already confirmed a follow-up to the film back in March, but now further details are emerging, building anticipation for its release. We rounded up everything we know so far.
Note: this post contains spoilers for the first “Black Panther” film, as well as the comic.
Ryan Coogler is back.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ryan Coogler, who penned and directed the breakthrough flick, secretly closed a deal to return to the sequel in the same capacity. Coogler, who is a hot commodity in Hollywood, has kept himself pretty busy since the film’s release.
The Oakland native is set to premiere his second feature film of the year next month, “Creed 2,” the follow-up to 2015’s “Creed,” starring frequent collaborator Michael B. Jordan (Erik Killmonger himself). In September, it was announced that Coogler would come on as producer of the long-awaited “Space Jam” sequel starring LeBron James.
Given his aforementioned commitments, “Black Panther” fans will be waiting on bated breath for not only the plot of the forthcoming film, but also a definite release date. Word is Coogler will begin developing a storyline late next year, with production beginning in late 2019 or 2020.
The all-star cast returns for another go.
The original ensemble troupe was loaded with incredibly talented names, and thankfully fans will see many of those faces in the sequel.
Chadwick Boseman, T’Challa himself, is expected to reprise his role as King of Wakanda, with Lupita Nyong’o returning to play his love interest Nakia. Letitia Wright and Danai Gurira will return as Shuri and Okoye, respectively. Winston Duke, leader of the opposing Jabari Tribe, will suit up again as M’Baku. Daniel Kaluuya, who plays T’Challa’s best friend W’Kabi, is also slated to make a return.
Erik Killmonger, who the Black Panther successfully defeated in the first film, could also return in some capacity. In May, Michael B. Jordan teased that fans hadn’t seen the last of Killmonger, and despite his obvious death in the first film, to expect the unexpected.
Donald Glover, also known professionally as Childish Gambino, has also been linked to a not-yet-announced new role in the sequel. According to Fader, Coogler has been in “informal talks” with the former “Community” star to bring his talents to Wakanda.
Could a new love interest jeopardize T’Challa and Nakia’s future?
Although the plot has not been revealed (let alone likely written), fans of the comic book series are well aware of the protagonist’s love life.
In the comics, King T’Challa and X-Men’s Storm are married, and that union could pose some problems for him and Nakia.
Storm is an African-born mutant raised in America, revered as one of the first major female characters of African descent in comic books. Notably played by Halle Berry in four blockbuster films, her powers include flight and the ability to control the weather.
She is also an accomplished markswoman, thief and agile fighter. Storm and T’Challa (spoiler) eventually divorce in the comics, so her character in the follow-up could be left up to chance.
It will take place in Wakanda, for the time being.
While the original film centered around the fictional country of Wakanda, expect the sequel to drift away from making the nation a focal point of conflict. Marvel film devotees know that following every film, a post-credit scene awaits, likely suggesting a possible narrative to pique interests.
In “Black Panther,” the post-credits scene showed T’Challa addressing a United Nations assembly in Vienna, acknowledging that Wakanda will be sharing its knowledge and resources with the rest of the world.
“Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows. We cannot. We must not,” he affirmed, “We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe.”
When a representative from another nation questioned what a country like Wakanda could offer the rest of the world, T’Challa delivered his signature smirk.
Wakanda forever lives in the hearts of fans, but watching the King and his allies interact with the rest of the globe will likely be one of the most exciting developments of the impending follow-up.
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