Marvel’s new trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever reveals that their approach to the sequel honours Chadwick Boseman’s unforgettable legacy. Angela Bassett, Leticia Wright, Winston Duke and Danai Gurira reprise their roles to protect their fictional nation in the aftermath of King T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman) death. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever releases on November 11, 2022.
Boseman’s portrayal of T’Challa has been at the centre of the Black Panther franchise so far. But the actor’s tragic passing in August 2020 also meant the film’s sequels would never be the same. As T’Challa, Boseman left behind an empowered legacy of representation, and some fans feared that putting an end to his time on screen would be an unfair fate for one of the most popular black superheroes to exist. They advocated fiercely for a recast in his honour, even starting an online petition.
The situation presented a tedious balancing act, one that could potentially make or break the franchise. Carrying the iconic protagonist’s legacy forward was important, but not at the cost of replacing Boseman. Recasting was certainly not an option for Marvel President Kevin Feige.
“It just felt like it was much too soon to recast,” he told Empire in an interview. “Stan Lee always said that Marvel represents the world outside your window. And we had talked about how, as extraordinary and fantastical as our characters and stories are, there’s a relatable and human element to everything we do. The world is still processing the loss of Chad. And Ryan poured that into the story.”
“I think this film has the fog of loss over it, and anamorphic lenses warp the image a little bit,” Entertainment Weekly quoted director Ryan Coogler. “Sometimes when you go through profound loss, it can warp how you look at the world.”
From the trailer’s initial visuals, it seems T’Challa will never return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe after all. However, the titular superhero will make a comeback, this time likely as a woman. Shuri (Letitia Wright) is the top contender suspected to fill her brother’s shoes. With the trailer dropping several hints and even more to be speculated, fans are excited to see what the sequel brings. Still, there is no doubt that we will sorely miss Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa.
First look at the new Black Panther in ‘BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER’. pic.twitter.com/0GP9UaqLZX
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) October 3, 2022