Marvel Studios has undoubtedly suffered many challenges over the years to reach the level of success it's seeing today with the Marvel Cinematic Universe But following the tragic death of T'Challa actor Chadwick Boseman, the studio is facing its toughest task yet: continuing the Black Panther franchise without the star that made it such a success.
Director Ryan Coogler will return to achieve that goal this year with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The sequel will continue to explore the world of Wakanda and its people in the absence of the iconic King T'Challa as Marvel Studios has remained adamant it will not recast the original lead.
Letitia Wright's Shuri, Lupita Nyong'o's Nakia, and Danai Gurira's Okoye will all reprise their MCU roles, although it's unclear who will take over the Black Panther mantle. The trio will be joined by almost every major player from the first film including Angela Bassett, Martin Freeman, and Daniel Kaluuya.
Beyond the familiar Wakandans, the Black Panther follow-up will introduce two more major players in the Marvel world with Riri Williams' Ironheart - in advance of her own Disney+ series - as well as Tenoch Huerta's Namor the Submariner.
Past reports have indicated Namor and his Atlantean army will serve as the main antagonists to the Wakandans, it appears the first footage may have offered the first tease of, what could be, that battle.
Black Panther 2 Screens First Footage
Disney opened its annual CinemaCon presentation with a sizzle reel - shown exclusively to attendees - which featured the first footage of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Fandango's Erik Davis described the footage as featuring a prominent shot of Nakia, Shuri, and Okoye on the front line of a major battle.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige - via The Hollywood Reporter's Chris Gardner - promised director Ryan Coogler is "working very hard" on the sequel.
Black Panther 2 Stays the Course
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has suffered countless difficulties since its announcement. The troubles started at their worst with the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman and only continued, having most recently endured on-set difficulties with Shuri actress Letitia Wright.
Despite difficulties and halts to filming, Disney appears to have reaffirmed the November release date for Wakanda Forever at its CinemaCon presentation, indicating everything is on course to be ready by the end of the year.
Many will be disappointed to hear the first footage from the Black Panther sequel was shown privately, but it doesn't appear much was shown. Namor and the Atlanteans were completely absent from the sneak peek - even though that's likely who the trio of female Wakandan warriors was preparing to face off against in this battle.
Marvel Studios will probably showcase Wakanda Forever privately once again in just a few short months at San Diego Comic-Con. In terms of when footage will be released publicly, that's more difficult to determine than ever after Thor: Love and Thunder broke the record for the MCU's shortest trailer-to-release window.
Going by the average window, the Black Panther sequel should release its first trailer towards the end of May, but the MCU hasn't exactly stuck to that as of late. With Wakanda Forever releasing just 126 days after Love and Thunder, there's a chance the trailer could premiere as soon as early July to accompany the Asgardian epic into theaters.
Only time will tell when fans around the world will get their first look at Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which will theaters on November 11, 2022.