Marvel Studios has unveiled the trailer for November’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to eager fans, who roared their approval in a boisterous session at Comic-Con in San Diego.
The film is the sequel to 2018’s Black Panther, which starred the late Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, the heroic crime-fighting king of Wakanda, a fictional African country with incredibly advanced technology.
The trailer opens with a female vocalist singing ‘No Woman, No Cry’ but there were some tears on stage as Boseman’s castmates spoke of how much it meant to them to honour his memory through this new project.
Ryan Coogler, director of the sequel, spoke about how excited the T’Challa actor had been to see the first ‘Black Panther’ footage five years ago at Comic-Con.
“I can feel his hand on me now,” Ryan said.
Also reprising their roles are British star Letitia Wright, who plays Shuri – the Black Panther’s sister – and Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, an undercover spy in service to Wakanda.
Before the cast took the stage, a group of musicians and dancers playing African drums and vocalizing gave a spine-tingling performance that had the crowd on their feet.
‘Wakanda Forever’ will introduce Tenoch Huerta, as anti-hero Namor McKenzie, known as the Sub-Mariner – confirming a long-standing casting rumour. Namor, who rules the watery kingdom of Atlantis, is the film’s antagonist – with the trailer hinting at a conflict between Wakanda and his people.
Addressing the fans, Huerta shared an emotional perspective on the power of inclusion, saying: “I come from the hood, seriously. And thanks to inclusion, I’m here. A lot of kids are there in their hood, looking at us, dreaming of being here. And they are going to make it!”.
Other new additions to the cast include Michaela Coel, and Dominique Thorne.
The first ‘Black Panther’ film took over a billion dollars at the box office, becoming the first superhero film nominated for the best picture Oscar, and a cultural milestone for diversity in filmmaking.
Marvel previously confirmed it would not be re-casting the role of T’Challa, a decision that has divided fans, some feeling it should forever belong to Boseman, who died of colon cancer in 2020, and some including Boseman’s brother, saying it should pass to a new actor.
There has been speculation that the panther suit could now go to Shuri, and while that wasn’t confirmed, the very final frame of the trailer features a telltale flash of the ‘Black Panther’ claws.
Other Movies Marvel Will Release
The current tranche of films and TV shows Marvel released is known as Phase 4 – and Marvel Studios head, Kevin Feige confirmed it will end with ‘Wakanda Forever’ on 11th November, 2022.
However, teasing fans with a peek at the future, he also lifted the curtain on Phase 5, confirming that ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ – which stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang / Ant-Man – will launch the new film cycle on 17th February, 2023.
Next in line will be ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3’, the final instalment of the space saga, set for release on 5th May, 2023. Director James Gunn got teary as he recalled pitching the franchise a decade ago this week in North Carolina, where ‘Iron Man 3’ was being filmed.
“They’ve saved the universe a few times, but really what they do is save each other,” James said. “This is the end of that story. I’m saying some stories have an end. It doesn’t mean everybody dies!”
The gallop through Phase 5 continues with ‘The Marvels’, in which Captain Marvel joins forces with Ms Marvel and Spectrum.
It will conclude in July 2024 with ‘Thunderbolts’, but there was no team reveal, so fans will have to wait a little longer to learn who’s in it.
Two new Avengers movies
Feige then skipped further forward to Phase 6 – confirming that the cycle will feature ‘The Fantastic Four’, release date 8th November, 2024 – but again, no casting has been made yet.
Phase 6 will end towards the close of 2025 with two films: ‘Avengers: The Kang Dynasty’, and ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’.