Thanks to an array of solid performances led by Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, an affecting storyline, and a dazzling celebration of Black culture, 2018’s Black Panther was a massive critical and commercial success — and it remains one of the MCU’s best films to date. But after Boseman’s untimely death in 2020, the possibility of a sequel seemed doubtful. How could Marvel move forward with a new Black Panther film without disrespecting Boseman’s legacy?
The first trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever offers a potential answer to that question, and that’s by addressing Boseman’s — and by extension, T’Challa’s — death head-on. One of the more emotional trailers that I’ve seen in a long time, much of it’s focused on the effects of T’Challa’s death, and as such, is full of sorrow, rage, and pain. Just try not to get chills listening to Queen Ramonda’s (Angela Bassett) impassioned speech at the trailer’s mid-point.
Story-wise, we get a few glimpses of Namor (Tenoch Huerta), who rules the undersea kingdom of Atlantis. Whereas Wakanda fully embraces an Afrofuturistic aesthetic, Namor and his Atlanteans bear a Mesoamerican influence. In the comics, Namor is frequently at odds with the surface world because of how it pollutes his ocean realm. From the few glimpses we get, it looks like Namor will be leading the Atlanteans against Wakanda, possibly as a result of the latter’s ocean experiments.
We also get a few glimpses of Riri Williams, aka, Ironheart (Dominique Thorne), a child prodigy who builds her own Iron Man-esque suit of armor. But in the film, she’ll apparently be working alongside Wakanda’s Shuri (Letitia Wright), herself no slouch in the engineering department. (Check out SlashFilm’s in-depth breakdown for more trailer details.)
I’ll be honest: I’ve been pretty lukewarm on the MCU lately. After the huge finish of Avengers: Endgame, it feels like it’s been stumbling around, trying to find its footing and launch its next phase, with only a handful of real successes so far (e.g., Ms. Marvel, Loki). But the trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has me getting hyped up a lot more, in the hopes that we’ll see another powerful entry into the long-running media franchise.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will arrive in theaters on November 11, 2022.