It’s been four years since Black Panther premiered to rave reviews, earned record-breaking box office returns and eventually became the first superhero movie nominated for Best Picture. Four years is a long time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which means one thing: We’re overdue for a sequel.
A second Black Panther is indeed on the way, but it will be tough to live up to the original. That movie was a landmark moment in Black representation, won three Academy Awards and remains the fifth highest-grossing movie in U.S. box office history. But the sequel is in good hands, with most of the cast and crew from Black Panther returning to Wakanda.
With one glaring and painful exception: Chadwick Boseman. Following his unexpected death in 2020, it wasn’t clear how Marvel would—or could—move forward without Boseman’s iconic portrayal of King T’Challa. After several rounds of script revisions by director Ryan Coogler and screenwriter Joe Robert Cole; however, it was decided that the role would neither be recast nor revived with CGI. Instead, the sequel will focus on other characters like Shuri, Nakia and Okoye—and on the broader world of Wakanda.
As we gear up for its release later this year, here’s everything there is to know about the sequel to Black Panther.
What’s the movie called? The sequel is titled Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (which feels like a very appropriate way to honor the late Boseman).
How are things coming along? Filming started in the middle of 2021 in Georgia and Massachusetts and has carried on with just a few hiccups: Some pandemic disruptions, unsurprisingly, but also delays due to injuries sustained by Letitia Wright on set. While performing a stunt, the actress fractured her shoulder and suffered a concussion.
Which characters will be in the sequel? Many familiar names will be at the center of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Wright returns as Wakandan tech wiz Shuri, along with Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Winston Duke as M’Baku and Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross.
Who’s new? Dominique Thorne (Judas and the Black Messiah) has been cast in the franchise as Riri Williams, whose superhero name is Ironheart, and she’ll appear in both Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and in her own Disney+ series, Ironheart. Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You) is also joining the cast, although her exact role is still under wraps.
What other filmmakers are involved? Coogler, Cole and producer Kevin Feige are all returning to their roles from the original, as is Oscar-winning composer Ludwig Göransson. Hannah Beachler and Ruth E. Carter are back, too, after making history at the 91st Oscars, when they became the first Black women to win for Best Production Design and Costume Design, respectively.
When can we watch it? Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled to hit theaters on Nov. 11, 2022.