‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ to Honour Chadwick Boseman

Last month Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was officially announced as the title of the highly anticipated second instalment. The sequel will honour the legacy of the late Chadwick Boseman.

Credit: Marvel Studios

The actor played the character T’Challa the Black Panther and King of Wakanda. By not recasting the role, the creators are focusing on a wider range of characters and exploring the mythology of Wakanda more deeply. Filming is due to start in July this year. There are many questions as to how director and writer Ryan Coogler will proceed with the sequel.  A report by the Illuminerdi has revealed that Marvel may have cast Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta as Namor the Submariner as its main villain. 

Tenoch Huerta Cast as Namor King of Atlantis

Huerta, best known for his roles in Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico and acclaimed horror film Tigers Are Not Afraid, was previously added to the sequel’s cast as an unknown villain. Now it is rumoured he is to take on the role of the King of Atlantis. Namor is the mutant son of a human father and Atlantean mother, who throughout the comics has a long history of conflict with the nation of Wakanda. Whilst his Atlantean heritage grants him many powers. His mutancy gifts him unique abilities such as flight. 

There are many fan conspiracy theories claiming that Marvel has been foreshadowing Namor’s arrival to the MCU. According to Screenrant, Shield having mapped hotspots in the Atlantic ocean indicates that Nick Fury is concerned about activity happening in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, suggesting unrest in the hidden kingdom. Another allusion to the warlike nation is presented through a conversation in Avengers: Endgame. Where Black Widow and Okoye discussing underwater earthquakes. 

Credit: Mind Life TV

As for the rest of the cast, Letita Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke and Angela Basset will all return to resume their roles. There are many more fan theories as to who will inherit the responsibility of protecting Wakanda. The most obvious choice and fan favourite, Letitia Wright’s character Shuri T’Challa’s younger sister. However, many argue that as both T’Challa and Shuri were blipped, under Wakandan succession law the role should fall to Nyong’s Nakia. 

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has history-making shoes to fill as its predecessor was a pop culture phenomenon. Leaving an amazing legacy not only in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but in the entire industry. Here’s a recap as to why Black Panther has earned its icon status and why the story must continue. 

Powerful Representation

Credit: Time Magazine

After 17 MCU superhero films led by white men, Black Panther is the first film to have a person of colour as the protagonist. As well as an African American director and a predominantly black cast, not only in the MCU but in Hollywood.

The nation of Wakanda is an alternate reality where Africa’s natural resources were not crippled by centuries of slavery and exploitation. Typically portrayed as primitive or impoverished, director Ryan Coogler represents African culture with respect. Wakanda shows the culture’s beauty and portrays its traditions as full of value and meaning. 

The representation of women is just as significant, with the all-female cast as the royal guards. The women in the film are among the fiercest warriors and most intelligent, seen as something to aspire to. 

Clothes, as well, played a big role in the representation of African culture. Costume designers Ruth E. Carter designed outfits taking inspiration from different African cultures depicting iconic geometric patterns and lip plates as stylish and beautiful. 

Royal Hollywood Premiere

Credit: HelloGiggles

Time Magazine’s article ‘The Revolutionary Power of Black Panther’ highlighted the film’s premiere as a significant milestone for Hollywood in itself. The invitation read ‘Royal attire requested’, however no one came dressed as European Kings & Queen, instead they wore “crowns of a different sort”; head wraps, natural hair, Afrocentric patterns, dashikis and boubous. Notably, this is the first time Hollywood has been exposed to a different type of royalty.  

Director Ryan Coogler said in an interview, “I always had an aching for characters that look like me”. This is the first time Black audience are seeing themselves as the main character in a superhero film. 

Black Panther represented African culture and people with power and respect,  uniting people so rarely shown in that way. 

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