Entertainment Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: release date and more
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: release date and more
– Releasing in theaters in November
– Role of T’Challa has not been recast
– Main cast from first movie all returning
– Official trailer confirms identity of new Black Panther
– Ironheart set to make MCU debut
– Namor confirmed as the film’s villain/anti-hero
– Plot synopsis officially revealed
– TV spin-offs featuring the Dora Milaje and Ironheart in the works
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is just over a month away from being released. The final Marvel movie of 2022 will be with us on November 11 and, unsurprisingly, the hype levels ahead of its arrival are at an all-time high.
How so? Because the forthcoming MCU Phase 4 film recently received its second and final trailer – and it seemingly confirmed who the new Black Panther will be. You’ll have to read on to find out the answer to this particular Marvel mystery, though.
Below, you’ll find plenty of information about the upcoming superhero film, too. We cover everything from its official release date and its teasers, to its all-star cast, plot synopsis, the franchise’s future, and so much more. Once you’re done reading our guide, you’ll be an expert on everything Black Panther 2 related.
A word of warning before we begin: full spoilers follow for 2018’s Black Panther. There are also potential spoilers for Wakanda Forever’s plot and cast, too. We’ll let you know when we’re about to discuss any major spoilers, though, so you can skip ahead if you’re avoiding them.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever release date
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will launch exclusively in theaters on November 11, 2022.
Tickets for the final Marvel movie of 2022 have officially gone on sale. If you’re planning on catching it as soon as the film is released worldwide, you’ll want to grab a seat now.
Well, everywhere except for France. Maybe. Per Le Film Francais (opens in new tab) (via The Direct (opens in new tab)), Wakanda Forever might not be released in France at all. That’s due to a French law requiring theatrically-released films to wait 17 months before they make their way to streaming services – in this case, that would be Disney Plus.
#WakandaForever. November 11. pic.twitter.com/KoZK1BMRcWOctober 3, 2022
Currently, Marvel Phase 4 movies – Doctor Strange 2 and Thor 4 – aren’t available on Disney’s streamer in France. Disney hasn’t made a decision on whether Black Panther 2 will launch in the European nation, but we’d be shocked if it isn’t, regardless of this particularly messy legal issue.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s runtime has also reportedly been revealed. It’ll clock in at two hours 41 minutes (per MCU insider BigScreenLeaks (opens in new tab)), which makes it the longest non-Avengers movie in MCU history, let alone in the studio’s Phase 4 slate.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s final trailer debuted on October 3 and it seemingly reveals who the new Black Panther will be. We won’t spoil it for you here, however – watch the trailer above to find out who is taking over T’Challa’s role as Wakanda’s protector-in-chief.
What we will discuss are some of the other exciting and emotionally gripping moments in the latest teaser. We get a better look at why Namor and his people are so fearsome – how cool and menacing does Namor look, by the way? – and what impact they could have on Wakanda and the planet as a whole. You know, as they plan on attacking the surface world.
Other fascinating snippets of footage include a first look at Riri Williams/Ironheart’s first Iron Man-style superhero suit, the Dora Milaje dealing out punishment to some mercenaries, and a glimpse at the emotional gravitas that the movie’s story and cast will carry. Given that Chadwick Boseman is no longer with us, Black Panther 2 is going to be a really emotional watch.
Did you miss Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s first teaser earlier this year? Check it out below:
D23 Expo 2022 attendees were also given an exclusive look at a scene from the movie. In it, Angela Bassett’s Queen Ramonda delivers a powerful speech to the United Nations about the use of vibranium. That comes after the UN asks if Wakanda will ever use vibranium as a weapon of mass destruction. It’s a sequence intercut with mercenaries descending on Wakanda labs to rob the precious metal, only for the Dora Milaje to arrive, stop them in their tracks, and present the mercs as prisoners at the same UN summit.
A sizzle reel of other footage is shown, including M’Baku’s staff breaking during a fight with Namor, Wakanda’s throne room on fire, Ironheart flying through the sky, Shuri in funeral attire, and the new Black Panther landing in a snowy setting.
There’s no word on whether this footage will make its way online. But, given that a new trailer was recently released, it’s highly likely that it’ll remain an exclusive clip for those lucky D23 attendees.
Who is Namor, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s villain?
Full name Namor McKenzie, the Marvel anti-hero made his comic book debut in Marvel Comics #1 (October 1939), which makes Namor one of the first-ever superheroes that Marvel created.
The son of a human sea captain and an Atlantean princess, Namor is one of the most powerful superheroes in the Marvel universe. He possesses typical powers including superhuman strength, endurance, speed, and an increased life span. As a mutant, he also has tiny, white wings on his ankles, which enable him to fly – though Atlantean and human scientists have been unable to explain why he was born with wings, given neither side possesses them (it’s likely down to his genetic mutation, though). He also has a telepathic relationship with ocean-dwelling creatures.
Often portrayed as a villain to King T’Challa/Black Panther, Namor is now viewed as more of an anti-hero. He’s regularly teamed up with other superheroes to keep his home city of Atlantis safe from intruders, and has appeared on numerous superhero rosters including the Avengers. However, he’s also entered partnerships with major supervillains such as Doctor Doom. Namor is only too happy to join forces with Marvel antagonists, then, if it means Atlantis and his people are shielded from land dwellers, who Namor isn’t exactly a fan of.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever cast
Here’s the confirmed cast for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever:
- Letitia Wright as Shuri
- Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia
- Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda
- Danai Gurira as Okoye
- Winston Duke as M’Baku
- Tenoch Huerta as Prince Namor
- Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams
- Florenca Kasuma as Ayo
- Martin Freeman as Everett K Ross
- Michaela Coel as Aneka
- Mabel Cadena as Namora
- Alex Livinalli as Attuma
- Isaach de Bankole as Wakandan River Tribe leader
- Dorothy Steel as Wakandan Merchant Tribe leader
- Danny Sapani as Wakandan Border Tribe leader
Chadwick Boseman’s death has left an unimaginably large hole in the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever cast. However, Marvel won’t be recreating the star digitally, nor has he been recast. Speaking to Empire (opens in new tab), Kevin Feige said it was “much too soon” to find someone else to replace Boseman, which is understandable.
Even without its lead star, Black Panther 2 will feature plenty of familiar faces.
Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Winston Duke, Martin Freeman, and Florence Kasumba will all reprise their roles from 2018’s Black Panther. Meanwhile, Isaach de Bankole, Danny Sapani, and Dorothy Steel return as the Elders of Wakanda’s tribes. Finally, where Wakanda is concerned, Michaele Coel (I May Destroy You) will play Aneka, a Dora Milaje combat instructor.
Tenoch Huerta portrays Namor, the movie’s primary villain and the MCU’s first male mutant, with Ms Marvel’s TV series hinting that she is also a mutant. Speaking to Life and Style magazine (opens in new tab), Huerta surprisingly revealed he couldn’t swim before he was cast – a problem for an ocean-dwelling superpowered being. After coming clean with Marvel, though, his hiring wasn’t jeopardized – Huerta just had to undergo rigorous swimming lessons so he could look the part.
Some creative liberties have been taken with Namor’s origins, though. Brazilian fansite Chippu (opens in new tab) previously reported that “[Namor] will not originate in Atlantis, as in the comics, but in the Central American region and will come from a historic and submerged city of Mexican culture.” As confirmed by on Marvel.com (opens in new tab), that city is named Talocan, an El Dorado-style civilization that’s heavily inspired by Tlālōcān, a paradise ruled by the rain deity Tlāloc in Aztec manuscripts.
As for other Talocan-dwelling characters we’ll see, Mabel Cadena (The Envoys) will play Namora, a cousin of Namor’s. Meanwhile, Alex Livinalli (Ozark, American Horror Story) portrays Attuma, a fearsome Talocan warrior.
The MCU movie will also introduce the star of an upcoming MCU TV show. In August 2021, Kevin Feige confirmed (opens in new tab) that Ironheart, aka Riri Williams, will make her live-action debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Dominique Thorne has been cast in the role and we’ll see her suit up in her Iron Man-style armor. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab), Coogler said of Williams’ introduction: “The film deals with a lot of things, but one of them is foils – people who exist in contrast, but there’s a thread of similarity. In this film, we get to see Shuri meet someone who has some things in common with her, but is also very, very different.”
Potential spoilers for Black Panther 2’s cast follow from now on. Skip ahead if you don’t want to read them.
See brand-new images from Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: #WakandaForever, exclusively for @EmpireMagazine. pic.twitter.com/XgGmjGBpQcSeptember 26, 2022
As for those character who won’t return, Daniel Kaluuya’s W’Kabi, T’Challa’s best friend and Okoye’s partner, isn’t returning. Confirmed by Rotten Tomatoes’ Jacqueline Coley (opens in new tab), Kaluuya’s shooting schedule for Jordan Peele’s Nope prevented him from reprising his role. He’s since told Variety (opens in new tab) that W’Kabi’s exclusion is “what’s best for the story.”
Another star who won’t be back is Michael B Jordan, who played antagonist Erik Killmonger in Black Panther. Aside from the fact Killmonger died – not that that’s ever been a barrier to a character’s MCU return – Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said (per CinemaBlend (opens in new tab)) any reports of Jordan’s return are “pure rumor and speculation” and that “nothing is set yet in any way.”
When asked by Jess Cagle on Sirius XM (opens in new tab) about the likelihood of a Killmonger comeback on a scale of one (never) to 10 (definite), Jordan said: “I’m gonna have to go with a solid two. I didn’t want to go zero! Never say never – I can’t predict the future.” However, Marvel leaker Charles Murphy (opens in new tab) has teased Killmonger will return in some guise.
Charles Murphy (opens in new tab) also suggests Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina Allegra de Fontaine will show up. Which of Wakanda or Talocan’s superpowered beings will she try to recruit for the Thunderbolts, whose line-up – though not likely a fully assembled one, based on this rumor – was revealed at D23 Expo 2022?
Finally, there’s speculation that a major Marvel supervillain will make their MCU debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. If you really want to find out who that is, you can click on these Reddit (opens in new tab) links (opens in new tab) to learn more. Just don’t blame us if your curiosity gets the better of you.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever story
Here’s the official plot synopsis, courtesy of Marvel’s official website (opens in new tab): “In Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba) fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death.
“As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda.”
Director Ryan Coogler also said of the film’s main theme (per Empire (opens in new tab)): “How do you carry on in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds? Unfortunately, that question became more and more relevant. Both for humanity as a whole, but also for the people in our production who were coming back for this one. It became super-relevant when we lost our bro [Chadwick Boseman].”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever looks like it’ll be centered around an expanding feud between Wakanda and Talocan. We see the two nations brawling in the trailers, but we suspect there’s more to this conflict than meets the eye.
Why? We imagine there’s someone else pulling the strings that leads Namor to pit Talocan against Wakanda. However, speaking to Empire (opens in new tab), Huerta teases why Talocan’s people will go on the offensive, saying it was T’Challa’s decision to reveal Wakanda to the world in 2018’s Black Panther is the reason why. “That decision puts Talocan in jeopardy,” Huerta teases. “And Talocan has to take action to protect themselves.”
Additionally, as the exclusive D23 Expo scene apparently showed, multiple nations are concerned about the use of vibranium as a weapon of mass destruction. If it falls into the wrong hands, it could be used for all the wrong reasons. If Namor sides with someone who wants to use it from the wrong reasons – maybe they tell him that Wakanda wants to use vibranium to attack Talocan in a bit of villainous misdirection? – it won’t take a genius to work out why he attacks Wakanda.
Interestingly, Namor and T’Challa would’ve thrown down if the latter was still alive. Although, as Huerta told Black Nerd Girls (opens in new tab), his version of Namor would’ve had a “deep admiration” for Boseman’s T’Challa. So, any battle between the pair would’ve played out with mutual respect on both sides.
‘WE’RE ALL HEROES’ – Actor Winston Duke isn’t giving much away when asked about who will be the new Black Panther in upcoming sequel, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” pic.twitter.com/SDQtjV8IctSeptember 12, 2022
Away from plot speculation, the cast have been discussing how they shot the movie without Boseman. Speaking to Good Morning America (opens in new tab), Lupita Nyong’o said: “All of us are dedicated to reimagining or carrying on his [Boseman’s] legacy in this new Black Panther”. In a chat during the 2022 Saks’ Spring 2022 campaign (as reported by People (opens in new tab)), Nyong’o doubled-down on paying tribute to Boseman, adding: “It’ll be interesting to bring out another one of those films without Chadwick, but we are holding him in close light. I think people will be excited about this one.”
Meanwhile, Angela Bassett provided a simple tease about the film during an Ellen show interview (opens in new tab). “It’s going to be amazing,” she said. “It’s going to top [the first] one. Can I say that? He [Boseman] was such an example, such a leader, an amazing talent – we all know that. He had a big heart, great intellect, and we just hope to raise his standard.”
Speaking at D23 Expo 2022 (via Marvel.com (opens in new tab)), Shuri actor Letitia Wright said: “[There are] so many great new characters attached to this franchise and to this story. I’m so excited how impactful this story will be. I’m excited for my bro to look down on us and smile.”
Elsewhere, Winston Duke told Collider (opens in new tab) what we can expect from the Jabari and M’Baku this time around. “I think the events of Infinity War and Endgame really showed that the Jabari are now full-fledged members of Wakanda. M’Baku was a part of every single conflict; every event, and I don’t think they could really exist in isolation anymore. They have open borders, and we saw that M’Baku was really Wakandan. His entire community has expanded.”
Meanwhile, Wright told Black Nerd Girls how her character is dealing with the death of her old brother. “Shuri is definitely consumed with her work. The death of her brother is causing her to create at another level, so there’s a lot of new technology to show off.”
Potential spoilers for Wakanda Forever’s plot follows. Skip ahead if you’re avoiding spoilers pre-release.
How will Wakanda Forever handle Boseman’s absence from a narrative perspective? Online speculation suggests T’Challa succumbs to illness in the MCU, although Marvel is yet to confirm this plot point. So far, we only know that his death will be referenced directly in the UN scene we described above, with Queen Ramonda telling them: “The king is dead. The Black Panther is gone. Wakanda has lost its protector” (per The Direct (opens in new tab)).
As difficult as it’ll be to watch Black Panther 2 without Boseman, there will be a passing of the torch where the Black Panther is concerned – so who will don the iconic vibranium-laced catsuit?
Based on the film’s second trailer, we already know one character will definitely don the iconic suit. Meanwhile, rumors have suggested Shuri will assume the mantle but, in November 2021, speculation emerged that M’Baku would take it up. Others hint that multiple characters will wear the suit. Basically, just wait for the film to arrive to find out for sure.
Away from the film’s honoring of Boseman, it seems Black Panther: Wakanda Forever might tie into Thor: Love and Thunder as well as Moon Knight. The Wakandan goddess Bast made a blink and you’ll miss it cameo in Thor 4, while Moon Knight’s exploration of Egyptian gods (in the comics, Bast is among their number) links it to Wakanda Forever, too. Could we see Akosia Sabet play Bast in Black Panther 2?
It looks like the movie will tackle real-world events in the form of Spain’s colonization of Central America as well. According to MCU leaker CineStealth (opens in new tab), a flashback sequence, which shows Namor’s Aztec ancestors fighting the Spanish conquistadors, will be part of the plot. Chatting to Life and Style magazine, Huerta said Namor is “anti-capitalist and anti-colonialist”, which speaks to such scenes playing out on the big screen. Marvel is becoming less shy about shining a light on uncomfortable subjects so, as long as it serves a purpose for the film’s story, it’ll be worthy of inclusion.
Where does Black Panther’s MCU future lie?
How will Black Panther: Wakanda Forever set up other elements of the MCU? For one, it’ll lead into Ironheart’s own Disney Plus show. Ryan Coogler is reportedly on board in some capacity, according to another Ironheart actor in Anthony Ramos (In The Heights). That seems highly likely, too, given Ironheart’s role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Coogler is also developing a Wakanda TV spin-off for Disney’s streaming platform, believed to be a Midnight Angels TV show, while Charles Murphy (opens in new tab) has claimed Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will also lead into a Namor-led franchise. There’s no word on whether this will be a movie or TV series, though.
Additionally, we’d be amazed if a third Black Panther film isn’t announced for Marvel Phase 5 or Phase 6. Okay, the former is unlikely as its slate is largely set in stone, but we could see Black Panther 3 form part of Marvel’s Phase 6 plans. Much of that will depend on how Wakanda Forever ends, though.
For now, the future looks bright for Black Panther in the MCU. Regardless of what happens, we know that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is on the way – and that it should be a film fitting of the man and actor that Chadwick Boseman was.
For more Marvel-based content, check out our Marvel movies in order guide, which shows you where Black Panther: Wakanda Forever might fit on the increasingly complex MCU timeline.