There’s no doubt that 2018’s Black Panther is a cultural milestone. As the first superhero film to get nominated for best picture, Ryan Coogler’s film is undoubtedly one of the best superhero ventures out there. But the road to complete the sequel to Black Panthe r has been rough, to say the least. After the overwhelming critical and financial success of his 2018 film, Ryan Coogler was immediately brought back for a follow-up. For those who have been living under a rock, Chadwick Boseman tragically passed away in 2020 from colon cancer. This was problematic for Coogler, as he was in the process of writing the film for which he no longer had a star. Since then, the film has undergone many changes, with numerous setbacks throughout the production of the film. As a result, the release date for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has shifted multiple times, finally settling on its current November 11, 2022 release date.
Despite having the distinction of being arguably the most chaotic production since Mad Max: Fury Road , Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has equal odds to be both a great and terrible sequel at the same time. As a result, here are five things we want to see in Black Panther 2, and five things we definitely do not.
Cover Photo: Marvel Studios
5 Things We Want To See In ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (And 5 We Dont)
Don’t Want: More Letitia Wright
Letitia Wright burst onto the scene with her endearing portrayal of Shuri in Black Panther . As a fan-favorite character and the heir to the throne of Wakanda, it seems natural that Shuri would become the focus of the sequel. Although Wright is reportedly the centerpiece of the film, she also happens to be one of its most problematic elements. We’ll spare you the details, but she essentially threw the production into chaos and only recently resumed filming. Needless to say, there are many less controversial actors in the cast that deserve the limelight more than Wright.
Want: More Bold Storytelling
The best thing about Black Panther was that it stepped outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in terms of culturally-relevant storytelling. It’s this storytelling that allowed the film to break out of this mold, something that Wakanda Forever has the chance to do again. Hopefully, Coogler will be able to overcome the problematic nature of the production.
Don’t Want: More Terrible CGI
For the most part, Black Panther is a film that is technically sound. However, one of the most lackluster aspects of Coogler’s film is undoubtedly the awful computer-generated effects. While the MCU as a whole has shown the propensity to make as much CGI as possible, the third act of the film is undoubtedly a low point in modern effects work. That said, the sequel offers the opportunity to get back to more practical locations and real sets. These are things that build worlds.
Want: Expand Wakanda
Although Wakanda has played a key role in the MCU from phase 3 and beyond, Wakanda Forever has the ability to flesh out the world even more. Especially considering that the first film established the world so perfectly, it only feels natural to dig deeper into Wakakndan lore. The world of Black Panther is so rich that it would be a crime not to expand on it further.
Don’t Want: Too Many MCU tie-ins
One challenge of this expansion comes with introducing new characters. While there’s no doubt that Wakanda Forever will bring new characters to the forefront in the wake of Chadwick Boseman’s absence, the question is to skillfully introduce them. Even though it’s rumored that characters like Ironheart and Namor the Submariner are involved, we just hope that the movie doesn’t become another Iron Man 2 .
Want: More Nakia
Lupita Nyong’o was easily one of the most wasted parts of the first film. With Chadwick Boseman out of the picture, it seems natural that Nyong’o would be primed to take on a more prominent role. Nyong’o has proven to be a great leading actress, so there's no reason why she wouldn’t shine here.
Don’t Want: Resurrect Killmonger
If there’s one singular choice that would instantly tarnish the legacy of Black Panther , it would be to resurrect Eric Killmonger. Considering that Killmonger’s death scene takes on new meaning in the first film, it would be a disservice to Chadwick Boseman’s legacy if they were to bring back Michael B. Jordan. While there are rumors that he may return, it’s better to let sleeping dogs lie in this case.
Want: Another Complex Villain
With any great sequel comes great responsibility. As evidenced by the first film, you can’t have a sequel without a great villain. If there’s any chance that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will reach the heights of its predecessor, it would be the villain. For the sequel to be successful, there must be a compelling antagonist for our heroes to fight. Without this, Wakanda Forever is doomed to fail.
Don’t Want: A Singular Protagonist
Speaking of perspectives, if there’s one thing that can help audiences get past Boseman’s absence, it’s to tell the story through multiple different characters. As the middle chapter of what is presumably a trilogy, Wakanda Forever has the unprecedented leeway to expand on the rich lore of the fictional nation. In short, the sequel has the possibility to make a larger impact while respecting Chadwick’s legacy. So lets they don't screw this one up.
Want: More M’Baku
Winston Duke is an American national treasure and should be treated as such. Since his amazing turn as M’Baku in Black Panther , Duke has proven himself to be a powerhouse actor. As a result, he deserves to be brought to the forefront of Wakanda Forever , especially because the original has already laid the seeds for this transition. Long live Man-Ape!