Marvel has had a busy year in 2022, but the most important movie from the studio is still to come. With the release of a new trailer today, we now have our best look yet at how the characters in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (which comes out on Nov. 11) mourn the death of Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa and carry on his legacy.
The trailer starts with a sad shot of what looks like T’Challa’s funeral, with his sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) and mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) carrying his helmet. In the last shot before the title card, we see a new character who looks like Shuri wearing Black Panther armour: People on social media who are good at spotting details noticed that the new mask has the same pattern of dots as her face did earlier in the trailer. (Shuri has been Black Panther in the comic books before. This happened most notably in the late 2000s, when T’Challa’s wife named her to the role after he was badly hurt, and in several issues after that.) In an interview for EMPIRE, Wright didn’t say what would happen to Shuri, but she did say that playing her gave her time to mourn the death of her friend and co-worker, Boseman. She said, “Shuri’s journey has given me the chance to grieve, cry, laugh, and gain strength I never thought I could have.”
Okoye, the leader of the Dora Milaje (played by Danai Gurira), M’Baku, the leader of the Jabari tribe (played by Winston Duke), and Nakia, a famous spy who used to date T’Challa (played by Lupita Nyong’o), are also seen in the trailer. The new teaser also shows that Namor is the main bad guy in Wakanda Forever (Tenoch Huerta). Namor is the leader of the underwater civilization Talocan. In the comics, Namor is known as the Sub-Mariner. Huerta told EMPIRE that Namor’s people will “take action to protect themselves” now that T’Challa has revealed Wakanda’s true, futuristic identity. Namor has been planned as the bad guy for a Black Panther sequel since the first movie came out, and at first, the 2018 movie was supposed to hint at him. Wakanda Forever makes some changes to how Namor’s kingdom came to be and how it looks. Instead of being based on ancient Greek history, as it was in the books, it is now more inspired by Mayan culture. ( Costume designer Ruth E. Carter and production designer Hannah Beachler, both of whom won Oscars for their work on the first Panther, are back in a big way. The funeral scene and the shots of Talocan in the trailer show how great their attention to detail and world-building skills are.
In a new cover story for Entertainment Weekly, writer-director Ryan Coogler said, “I didn’t know if I could make another movie at all, let alone another Black Panther movie, because it hurt so much.” But when he thought back on conversations he had with Boseman near the end of his life, he knew he wanted to keep working. “I didn’t want this shoot to start because I didn’t know what we would do without Chadwick “Nyong’o told EW. “I couldn’t understand why. But Ryan’s moving, honest, and clear vision was able to honour his life and his role in both the movie and our lives.
Kevin Feige talked about why the role of T’Challa wasn’t changed in the EMPIRE feature. “It just seemed like way too soon to start over,” he said. “Stan Lee always said that Marvel is like looking out the window. And we had talked about how, no matter how strange or fantastic our characters and stories are, there is always something in them that makes them feel real and like people. The loss of Chad is still being felt around the world. And Ryan [Coogler] put that into the story.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens on November 11, and advance tickets are already on sale. At 2 hours and 42 minutes, it will be the second-longest MCU film to date, after Endgame.