Kevin Feige has discussed Phase Four of the MCU being all about the character’s coming to terms with the events of Avengers: Endgame, and according to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler the movie was originally going to deal with Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa struggling in the wake of the climax of the Infinity Saga. Of course, the untimely death of Boseman in 2020 changed the structure and the storyline of the movie, which now instead sees the nation of Wakanda suffering the loss of their leader.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is tracking to follow its predecessor as one of the biggest and highest praised movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As the first comic-book movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, Black Panther set a very high bar for its sequel to live up to. While discussing the movie with Inverse, Coogler explained that while the threat of Namor was always part of the movie, the main emotional sub-plot was all based around Boseman’s T’Challa and his struggle to come to terms with his five-year blip absence. Coogler said:
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“The tonal shift, I will say, was less of a shift than in [casting]. The tone was going to be similar. [T’Challa] was going to be grieving the loss of time, you know, coming back after being gone for five years. As a man with so much responsibility to so many, coming back after a forced five years absence, that’s what the film was tackling. He was grieving time he couldn’t get back. Grief was a big part of it. [Namor] was always the antagonist. There were other characters, for sure, that we considered including. Namor was always there.”
Will Suri Be the New Black Panther?
There has been constant speculation over who will be assuming the role of Black Panther since it was revealed that the role of T’Challa was not being recast in the wake of Chadwick Boseman’s death. While it has been assumed by many that Suri will be stepping into the role, there have been plenty of hints that the Black Panther could become a position in Wakanda that is shared by a number of characters. For Letitia Wright, reprising her role of Suri in the sequel has brought new challenges and a change in tone for the character. She previously said:
“We meet her in the first film, and she is that ray of sunshine. She’s so clothed and protected in royalty and love and proud of her big brother taking this step, following his father’s legacy. And she just wants to create. I love Shuri in the first one, because there was no limit to her as well. She was the person her brother went to for his protection and his armor, and he encouraged that. Her family encouraged her to be a genius and to be wonderfully made. We follow on from that. What does that look like when your heart is broken?”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will arrive in cinemas on November 11.