Marvel is making good on its promise that Wakanda is forever, as the studio moves forward on the second Black Panther following the first's massive 2018 box office haul and seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. The sequel's future was initially in doubt following the tragic death of 43-year-old star Chadwick Boseman in August 2020 after a four-year battle with colon cancer.
But on December 10, 2020, the official Disney+ Twitter confirmed plans for the next installment, tweeting, "Black Panther 2, opening July 8, 2022, is being written & directed by Ryan Coogler. Honoring Chadwick Boseman’s legacy & portrayal of T’Challa, @MarvelStudios."
Now that a release date and official title has been announced, fans can look forward to a sequel that honors Boseman's legendary contribution to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ahead, everything we know about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, including when the film will be released.
On May 3, Marvel released a nostalgic mega-trailer called "Marvel Celebrates The Movies." The trailer debuted Marvel's upcoming film's official titles and released dates. Among the titles presented was Black Panther's sequel film: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
On June 29, ahead of the movie’s 2022 release date, Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer, Kevin Feige, told Variety that production for the sequel has officially begun. Feige spoke to the outlet at the Black Widow global fan event in Los Angeles and said, “It’s clearly very emotional without Chad, but everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans. We’re going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud.” The sequel will be filmed in Atlanta at Pinewood Studios.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, production was meant to begin in March 2021 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which similarly stalled the release of several other Phase 4 Marvel projects.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Angela Bassett, who plays Queen Mother Ramonda, revealed that the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever movie script is up in the air as the cast and crew continue to film in Atlanta. "I don't know what it's going to look like at all," Bassett told the outlet. "There have been about five incarnations of the script, and I hear another one's coming.
"Of course, with our dear king [Boseman] going on to glory, a lot of things had to be shifted and changed. So, thankfully, [director] Ryan [Coogler] and [writer] Joe Robert Cole, they're just such masterful storytellers that they've found a way into this world and hopefully it will be satisfying, I think, for the fans, and it will be honorable of our Chad. We love our king," Bassett explained.
After Boseman's death in August, the future of T'Challa's role in the franchise was in flux. Per THR, no one at Marvel was aware of the actor's private cancer battle, which he only revealed to a tight-knit circle of people. A source close to Boseman told the outlet that up until his death, he believed he would recover and shoot the sequel. Disney has now confirmed that T'Challa will not be recast and that instead the character will be honored in another, yet-to-be-revealed way.
Many of the actors from 2018's Black Panther will return for the sequel. These include Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Letita Wright as Shuri (in a more major role, per THR), Winston Duke as M'Baku, Daniel Kaluuya as W'Kabi, and Angela Bassett as Queen Mother Ramonda. Less likely to reprise his role is Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger, as that character met his demise in the first film. (However, death rarely lasts long in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.)
Sources told The Hollywood Reporter in November that Tenoch Huerta (Narcos: Mexico, Spectre) will reportedly play one of the film's antagonists, though no additional character details have been revealed. And while speculation about Rihanna joining Wakanda has not been substantiated, there is reason to celebrate as another major name was recently announced: I May Destroy You's Michaela Coel has joined the production, per Variety. No news yet on whether she'll have any superpowers (she better!), but her presence alone is enough to cast an even stronger glow of prestige around the highly anticipated follow-up.
On July 23, the MCU shared their first official trailer for the film at San Diego's 2022 Comic-Con, and it's a cinematic marvel in itself. It opens with the Wakandan nation and T'Challa's family clearly mourning some profound loss, but there is not much time to feel their grief before a new threat begins to rise. The existence of aquatic enemy Namor, played by Tenoch Huerta, is revealed and soon everyone is preparing for battle.
There's also a quick glimpse of Ironheart, played by Dominique Thorne, making her debut, as well as the new Black Panther flashing their claws. With the trailer they've also offered a release date, so mark those calendars for November 11, 2022.
In June, a report from The Sun claimed negotiations were underway between Beyoncé and Disney for a $100 million deal for her work on three projects. One of those was reportedly Black Panther 2, though neither party confirmed the Sun's report. Bey's last work on a Disney soundtrack was for The Lion King: The Gift, along with her voice work as Nala in the movie. But the rumors of the pop icon's work on Black Panther were soon debunked: