Black Panther 2. Photo: screenrant
Black Panther 2. Photo: screenrant

Fans have been waiting for a follow-up to Black Panther ever since the film’s immense success in 2018. However, that eager anticipation turned into heartbreak in the summer of 2020, when the film’s lead hero, Chadwick Boseman, passed away after a private battle with cancer. His loss sent shockwaves among fans, fellow actors, and the entertainment industry as a whole.

On top of grieving the loss of a real-life and onscreen hero, some also wondered—what would become of the groundbreaking role Boseman brought to life? The Black Panther sequel was already announced in 2019, and months after Boseman’s passing, Marvel has confirmed that the show will go on in a manner that honors the late actor’s legacy.

Here's what we know about Black Panther sequel so far.

Black Panther 2 release date

Marvel has slated Black Panther 2 for release on July 8, 2022.

The movie will almost certainly open in theaters and there is very little chance it will stream at the same time on Disney Plus. Marvel is doing a concurrent release with Black Widow this summer, but only because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. With vaccines rolling out and more theaters opening, the summer of 2022 looks to return to the "normal" moviegoing experience.

Black Panther 2 will be one of four Marvel movies opening next year, along with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (March 25, 2022), Thor: Love and Thunder (May 6, 2022) and Captain Marvel 2 (November 11, 2022).

Production rescheduled, new villain added

Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman’s shocking death has altered the production schedule for Black Panther 2. Production was originally scheduled to begin in March 2021, with a release set for May 6, 2022. After Boseman’s tragic passing, Marvel took a beat to consider the future and, now, is slowly beginning to ramp up production efforts. The Hollywood Reporter says filming will begin in July 2021 in Atlanta, putting it about four months behind the initial schedule.

There is no word yet on whether or not the May 2022 release date will change, or how the film will handle Boseman’s loss. The report suggests that there will not be a CGI replacement for Boseman and that, instead, Letitia Wright’s role as Shuri could be expanded.

As much as we’d love for Michael B. Jordan to return as Killmonger (he was, after all, one of the best villains in the history of the MCU), that doesn’t seem very likely at the moment. We can dream, though. As for what villains could appear in Black Panther 2? We have our own ideas about that.

In addition to the production report, THR says that Tenoch Huerta (Narcos: Mexico) has joined the cast as a villain. It’s unclear whether he is a primary villain or a member of a group, Digitaltrends cited.

Black Panther 2 cast: Who's coming back for Black Panther 2?

Photo: quirkybyte
Photo: quirkybyte

It has been confirmed that the sequel will honour the legacy of Chadwick Boseman and won't recast the role of T'Challa. Thankfully as well, there are no plans to use a 'digital double' in the sequel.

"There's only one Chadwick and he's not with us," said Marvel Studios' EVP Victoria Alonso. "Our king, unfortunately, has died in real life, not just in fiction, and we are taking a little time to see how we return to history and what we do to honour this chapter of what has happened to us that was so unexpected, so painful, so terrible, really."

Kevin Feige added: "So much of the comics and that first movie is the world of Wakanda. Wakanda is a place to further explore with characters and different subcultures. This was always and initially the primary focus of the next story. We're not going to have a CG Chadwick and we're not recasting T'Challa."

Although the exact plot details for the sequel haven't yet been announced, it seems that our next visit to Wakanda will see us spend time with a range of characters while exploring the "mythology" of Wakanda more deeply.

"[Writer and director] Ryan Coogler is working very hard right now on the script with all the respect and love and genius that he has, which gives us great solace, so it was always about furthering the mythology and the inspiration of Wakanda. There's also the task of honouring and respecting the ongoing learnings and teachings from Chad as well."

In the comics, Shuri has taken on the Black Panther mantle and fans have been calling for a similar approach in the sequel, but Letitia Wright has said the sequel is "not something I even want to think about".

She added: "The thought of doing it without him is kinda strange. We're just grieving at the moment, so it's trying to find the light in the midst of it."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke and Angela Bassett are all expected to reprise their roles in the sequel as Shuri, Nakia, M'Baku and Ramonda, respectively.

Wright is reportedly set to "take on a more prominent role" in Black Panther 2, while Narcos: Mexico star Tenoch Huerta is in talks to play one of the villains of the sequel. It's unclear if Danai Gurira and Daniel Kaluuya will return as Okoye and W'Kabi, respectively, but Martin Freeman previously expected to be back as CIA agent Everett Ross.

There's been no official comment from Marvel on any of the reported castings so far, but at the Disney Investor Day in December 2020, it was confirmed that the sequel would explore "all of the rich and varied characters" from the first movie.

Michael B Jordan's intense and troubled villain Erik Killmonger could also be in for a return, potentially in flashbacks. However, there is one way to bring Jordan back that doesn't include flashbacks.

When Killmonger initially defeated T'Challa in a trial by combat, he ingested the heart-shaped herb and gained the strength of the Black Panther. That ritual should have formed a spiritual connection with the realm of Bast.

We don't know exactly how this part of the Wakandan afterlife works, but the spirits of T'Challa's ancestors dwell there after death, imparting wisdom to whoever next inherits the Black Panther mantle.

It would make sense if Killmonger's spirit also wound up residing in the realm of Bast, as he has ingested the same herb as everyone else who's wielded the power of the Black Panther.

Behind the scenes, Ryan Coogler is returning to write and direct Black Panther 2 and he's bringing back the original creative cast, according to Digital Spy.

Long live the king - No new Black Panther

Will the new film have a character who's called Black Panther? There are plenty of rumors. T'Challa himself won't be recast, but his title can move on to others, including Shuri, T'Challa's sister, played by Letitia Wright.

Any new Black Panther films, however, will forever be touched by the memory of Boseman.

"He was as smart and kind and powerful and strong as any person he portrayed," Feige said. "Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for the ages." Cnet reported.

Boseman, who anchored the film as the central character, T’Challa, died of colon cancer this past summer at the age of 44. While there was some talk of potentially recasting the role with another actor, Marvel Studios has made the decision to honor the late actor by not replacing him in the sequel. “To honor the legacy that Chad helped us build through his portrayal of the king of Wakanda, we want to continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film.” Wakanda forever. Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa forever, Vulture wrote.

Black Panther 2 plot and story

Photo: koimoi
Photo: koimoi

Almost nothing is known about the story or plot of Black Panther 2. Coogler may still be writing the script. According to The Hollywood Reporter, filming on the sequel doesn't start until July.

Feige has dropped some tidbits that seem more like musings than hints. For instance, he hinted that future projects could explore Wakanda's past.

"There's that moment where all of the ancestors come behind T'Chaka," he recalled to Entertainment Weekly. "We would joke and go, 'I want to see… what's their story? What's that story? Who was Bashenga, the first king of Wakanda? Who's that third to the left, behind T'Chaka? What was their story in Wakanda in 1938? That would be cool'."

Then again, that could be the era explored in the Wakanda TV series that Disney Plus is developing.

For now, we don't know much, but stay tuned as more details slowly filter out in the coming months, Toms Guide noted.

Is there a trailer for Black Panther 2?

No – and given filming (planned for March 2021) has been delayed until further notice following Boseman’s death, it could be a long time before we hear more about the Black Panther sequel.

What’s the title of Black Panther 2?

All we know for the moment is that the Black Panther sequel won’t be called Black Panther II, as confirmed by director Ryan Coogler and Kevin Feige at Disney’s D23 event in August.

The film will likely go for a catchy subtitle, much like the Captain America, Thor and the Avengers films have opted for, Radio Times cited.

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