Black Panther’s New Identity Is Baked Into Wakanda Forever’s Story

Black Panther’s New Identity Is Baked Into Wakanda Forever’s Story

On November 11, a new character will become Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But is it Shuri? Is it Nakia? Okoye? We don’t know for sure, but apparently everyone in Wakanda has their own opinion about it.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens next month and the story centres on the fictional Marvel country grieving the loss of its king, T’Challa, played by the late Chadwick Boseman. T’Challa’s passing means a new Black Panther must be chosen and according to the film’s producer, that question is not one that’s answered easily in the film.

“The Black Panther has existed in Wakanda for centuries, so the notion of someone else picking up the mantle didn’t seem inorganic,” Nate Moore, Marvel Studios executive and producer on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever told the Hollywood Reporter. “But once that had to become a reality, then it was, ‘OK, what makes the most sense for the story? Who actually makes the most sense to take this thing on?’ All of the characters in the film have a different idea of who should don the mantle and why.”

Of course, that wasn’t always the story of the film. Before Boseman lost his battle with colon cancer, he was going to be front and centre in the film. “The script we wrote before Chadwick passed was very much rooted in T’Challa’s perspective,” co-writer and director Ryan Coogler said. “It was a massive movie but also simultaneously a character study that delved deeply into his psyche and situation.”

Now, that story centres on T’Challa’s loss and inevitable replacement. Most fans believe Shuri, played by Letitia Wright, will be the choice and they could very well be right. But one person who isn’t saying is Lupita Nyong’o, who plays Nakia, another strong contender. “If I told you [who the new Black Panther is], I might as well just … swim into the ocean and never be seen again,” the actress said.

Read much, much more about Nyong’o and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in an excellent profile at the Hollywood Reporter. And check back soon for more on the highly anticipated, sure to be hugely emotional sequel.

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