Update: Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman has died of cancer at age 43.
Marvel Studios made the entire world shout “Wakanda Forever!” when Black Panther hit theaters in February 2018, kicking off a spectacular run that has made the film one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, with the best reviews of any movie in Marvel’s cinematic universe.
Of course, Disney is making a sequel. While Black Panther 2 missed Marvel’s big Phase 4 reveal at Comic-Con International 2019, the film was confirmed at Disney’s D23 convention a month later.
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Bringing back director and co-writer Ryan Coogler, Black Panther 2 (or whatever the film’s official title will end up being) will likely be set in a very different Marvel universe than the first film, thanks to the events of both the original movie and Avengers: Endgame.
Chadwick Boseman was due to return in the starring role of T’Challa, but died after a battle with cancer on Aug. 28 at the age of 43. Plans for how Marvel plans to cope with his passing have not been revealed.
Here’s everything we know about Black Panther 2 so far.
- Title: Black Panther 2 (working title)
- Release date: May 8, 2022
- Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Daniel Kaluuya
- Director: Ryan Coogler
Marvel Studios’ schedule was already packed with films like Black Widow, The Eternals, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Thor: Love and Thunder, but release delays created a chain of MCU release date changes.
The good news, however, is that Black Panther 2 — which isn’t the official title — will barely be affected. At Disney’s D23 Expo, the film was given a May 6, 2022, release date, and the updated post-delay release date is just two days later: May 8, 2022.
Marvel hasn’t said if Black Panther 2 is officially considered part of Phase 4 of the MCU or if it will join Blade and others as part of Phase 5. Not that it really matters, of course. We’re getting more Black Panther. For now, that’s enough.
Confirmed to return as the writer and director on Black Panther 2 in October 2018, Ryan Coogler indicated that he’s well aware of the unique pressure on him to replicate the success of the first film.
“I’ve had a chance to make three feature films, each one of them had its own very specific type of pressure. In the process of it, it feels insurmountable each time,” Coogler told IndieWire. “When it comes to making a sequel, I’ve never done it before — a sequel to something that I’ve directed myself. So I think there’s going to be a lot of pressure there, but what we’re going to try to do is just focus on the work, like we always do. [We’ll] really try to go step by step and try to quiet everything else around us, really focus on trying to make something that has some type of meaning.”
The returning cast
Nearly all of the cast of Black Panther wre expected to return for the sequel, with Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa leading an ensemble that also includes Wakandan characters portrayed by Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Letitia Wright (Shuri), Winston Duke (M’Baku), and Daniel Kaluuya (W’Kabi). Martin Freeman is also expected to reprise his role as CIA agent Everett K. Ross.
A May 2018 report indicated that Black Panther actor Michael B. Jordan might also reprise his role — in some form, at least — as Erik Killmonger in the follow-up film.
However, with Boseman’s passing, it’s unclear how the film will proceed or what casting decisions will be made.
The new cast
According to U.K. outlet Metro, multi-talented actor, musician, writer, and comedian Donald Glover is being courted for a role in the film. The Atlanta series creator and star (and Solo: A Star Wars Story actor) previously appeared in Spider-Man: Homecoming as a small-time criminal Peter Parker encounters during one of his early adventures and is reportedly engaged in “informal talks” with Coogler about playing a character in the Black Panther sequel.
The report implies that Glover will play a new character introduced in the film, and not reprise his role from Homecoming, even though his character in that film — Aaron Davis — is an important one in Spider-Man’s recent comics continuity. If Glover does find his way into the film’s cast, the source indicated that he’ll likely play a villain role.
As usual, Marvel is keeping the plot of the Black Panther sequel — if there is one at this point — a closely guarded secret. However, studio president Kevin Feige had dropped some vague hints about what’s on the creative team’s mind when it comes to the future of T’Challa, Wakanda, and Black Panther.
“One of the favorite pastimes at Marvel Studios is sitting around on a Part One and talking and dreaming about what we would do in a Part Two,” he said in a March 2018 interview with Entertainment Weekly. “There have been plenty of those conversations as we were putting together the first Black Panther. We have ideas and a pretty solid direction on where we want to head with the second one.”
While that didn’t offer much in the way of clues, Feige did indicate that Wakanda’s past — and the history of the Black Panther — could also inform the franchise’s future. Referencing the prologue in Black Panther that had T’Challa’s father, T’Chaka, visiting the United States in the early ’90s, Feige said that specific time period might not be revisited, but the idea of the Black Panther’s history as the leader (and protector) of Wakanda has led to some intriguing questions.
“We would talk about the ancestral plane sequence [in Black Panther] where, towards the end of the movie, T’Challa takes the herb again and encounters his father, where he’s like, ‘Hey, man. We’ve kind of screwed up, and I want to change it.’” he recalled. “There’s that moment where all of the ancestors come behind T’Chaka. 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.’ It all starts as conversations like that. The more audiences want to see these stories, the more opportunities we have to explore different places and time”
Updated on August 28, 2020: Added information on Chadwick Boseman’s passing.
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