'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever': Cast, plot, release date

·7-min read

Watch: The Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is gathering the tribes of Wakanda and preparing to introduce a brand-new version of the country’s saviour in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

As the follow-up to 2018’s Black Panther, Ryan Coogler is back in the director’s chair with the fan-favourite comic book character following the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman.

While we know someone else will be popping on the iconic suit, the first trailer proved the memory of the OG Black Panther is still roaring loud. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever also has the honour of rounding off Phase 4 of the MCU before we head into Phase 5’s lineup of Blade, Thunderbolts, and more.

Read more: Every upcoming MCU movie and TV show

If you’re ready to practice your best Wakandan salute, here’s the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever cast, story, release date, and more.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever cast

Letitia Wright as Shuri in Marvel Studios' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.
Letitia Wright as Shuri in Marvel Studios' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. (Marvel Studios)

Despite Boseman's passing leaving a hole in the Wakanda Forever cast, there’s thankfully a mix of old and new faces to honour his legacy.

First and foremost, Letitia Wright will once again play Shuri: T’Challa’s inventive sister who created her older brother’s suit in the first movie. Shuri is poised to take a more prominent role as the MVP of Wakanda Forever, and maybe, be the next Black Panther.

Keeping the family ties, Angela Bassett also returns as Queen Ramonda, the widow of King T’Chaka and current ruler of Wakanda.

Angela Bassett as Ramonda in Marvel Studios' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.
Angela Bassett as Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. (Marvel Studios)

There’s also more from Lupita Nyong’O’s Nakia, who was T’Challa’s love interest in the first movie. Even though Nakia's comic book counterpart takes the villainous mantle of Malice, she's likely to remain a hero in the MCU.

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Danai Gurira also returns as the fearsome Okoye to head up the all-female Dora Milaje warriors. Martin Freeman reprises his role as CIA operative Everett Ross, and Winston Duke will once again play M’Baku, the leader of the Jabari tribe.

Lupita Nyong'O as Nakia in Marvel Studios' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.
Lupita Nyong'O as Nakia in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. (Marvel Studios)

In terms of newcomers, there’s the much-hyped arrival of Tenoch Huerta as Namor. Dubbed Marvel’s first mutant, Namor the Sub-Mariner predates Marvel Comics alongside the original Human Torch and Captain America as one of Timely Comics’ 'big three'.

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of Namor, with an Easter egg in 2010’s Iron Man 2 seemingly referring to Namor’s homeland of Atlantis.

Tenoch Huerta as Namor in Marvel Studios' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.
Tenoch Huerta as Namor in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. (Marvel Studios)

Namor’s ties to Black Panther were confirmed in Avengers: Endgame when Okoye referred to handling a series of deep-sea earthquakes off the coast of Africa. Writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus confirmed it was a tease of Namor, who looks like he’ll be the big bad of Wakanda Forever.

Finally, there’s the debut of Dominique Thorn’s Riri Williams. In a fleeting glimpse of the character, we see her honouring her legacy as the next Iron Man by making her own suit. It’s a subtle throwback to Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark doing the same in 2008’s Iron Man.

Could the Iron brand live on beyond Tony Stark? (Disney/Marvel Comics)
Could the Iron brand live on beyond Tony Stark? (Disney/Marvel Comics)

Ironheart will be getting her own Disney+ show in the near future.

Michaela Coel also makes her MCU arrival as Aneka, the woman who trained the Dora Milaje and could lead the vigilante team known as the Midnight Angels.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever story

(L-R): Dorothy Steel as Merchant Tribe Elder, Florence Kasumba as Ayo, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Danai Gurira as Okoye in Marvel Studios' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.
(L-R): Dorothy Steel as Merchant Tribe Elder, Florence Kasumba as Ayo, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Danai Gurira as Okoye in Marvel Studios' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. (Marvel Studios0

After opening the borders of Wakanda at the end of the first movie, the once-secretive nation has to deal with the fallout of this and the loss of its king. In one heartfelt moment, Queen Ramonda says "I am Queen of the most powerful nation in the world, and my entire family is gone. Have I not given everything?"

The shadow of death obviously hangs over Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, as we see Ramonda and Shuri dressed in white while the latter carries her brother’s helmet. Easily the trailer’s biggest moment is the appearance of someone new in the Black Panther suit, which confirms the hero won’t be retired because of T’Challa’s death.

Read more: Making Black Panther 2 without Chadwick was 'tough every day'

Theorists have guessed it could be anyone from Nakia or a shock return of Michael. B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger, but if the leaks are to be believed, it’s Shuri who is stepping up to the plate.

Michael B Jordan as Killmonger in Black Panther. (Marvel Studios)
Michael B Jordan as Killmonger in Black Panther. (Marvel Studios)

Given that Shuri takes over as Black Panther when her brother is badly injured in the comics, it makes sense that Wright will follow in her footsteps and lead the character forward for a possible inclusion in a mythical New Avengers Lineup.

When it comes to Namor, we’re guessing the villain won’t be a one-and-done. Remembering the character’s long-rumoured arrival - and the fact he was an original member of the comic book cabal called the Illuminati that we saw in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — it would be a shame to waste him.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 23: Tenoch Huerta speaks onstage at the Marvel Cinematic Universe Mega-Panel during 2022 Comic Con International: San Diego at San Diego Convention Center on July 23, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
Tenoch Huerta speaks onstage at the Marvel Cinematic Universe Mega-Panel during 2022 Comic Con. (Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

The movie’s big conflict is between Atlantis and Wakanda, and thanks to Production Weekly for expanding on an 'intertwining conflict' between the nations. Both are described as sophisticated civilisations, but as Wakanda makes the most of its access to vibranium, Atlantis is worried surface dwellers will once again ravage its mythical realm.

Feige previously said he wanted to explore more of Wakanda’s history, so we assume we’ll get to see more of Atlantis’ mythology as well.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever release date

The title treatment for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
The title treatment for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. (2022)

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will hit cinemas on 11 November, 2022.

To say Wakanda Forever has had a troubled production would be an understatement. Although Kevin Feige officially confirmed Black Panther 2 at Comic-Con 2019, plans were irrevocably changed by Boseman’s death in August 2020.

Read more: Letitia Wright injured on Black Panther 2

He was tapped to return for a trilogy of Black Panther movies, however, his death coming after Coogler had already turned in a first draft for Black Panther 2 meant it had to be adapted to deal with his passing.

The idea of recasting T’Challa was quickly shot down by Feige, while Coogler went away to refine his script. At this point, the release was moved from May 2022 to 8 July. Despite Boseman’s death, filming only moved back three months to June 2021.

Chadwick Boseman has portrayed Black Panther in the MCU since 2016's 'Captain America: Civil War'.
Chadwick Boseman portrayed Black Panther in the MCU since 2016's Captain America: Civil War. (Marvel Studios)

Further complications from Wright suffering an on-set injury, COVID restrictions, and Lupita N’yongo testing positive meant Wakanda Forever was delayed again to 11 November, 2022. After months of issues behind the scenes, it seems November is locked in for the final chapter of Phase 4.

This means Wakanda Forever takes the place previously occupied by Nia DaCosta The Marvels - which has shifted into 2023. Hopefully, it’s smooth sailing to Atlantis and there are no more delays.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will hit cinemas on 11 November, 2022.