Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will bring the hidden African nation back into the spotlight for the final movie of the MCU's Phase 4. But this film will also come with a great deal of sorrow, with the real world still mourning the death of leading actor Chadwick Boseman and the MCU's characters having to endure King T'Challa's death in the story.
This second solo outing will largely serve as a tribute to Boseman, who brought the first take on the Black Panther to the big screen as he fought both against and alongside the Avengers in four movies over the course of the MCU's Phase 3. And even though the story will tackle exciting new characters and adventures, including the introduction of Namor the Sub-Mariner, Boseman's presence will be felt from start to finish.
Countless Marvel cast and crew members have shared how shocking Boseman's death was, with studio president Kevin Feige making it clear that everybody at the studio was hit hard by the news. Now, with only a few weeks remaining until the movie releases, a new report shares a look into the MCU narrative itself by revealing how the characters in Black Panther 2 handle this tragic death.
Black Panther 2 Heroes Mourn T'Challa
Entertainment Weekly shared a new report looking at how multiple characters from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will handle the death of the late Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa, including M'Baku, Okoye, Ramonda, and Shuri.
Winston Duke's M'Baku takes on more responsibility with Wakandan affairs while still leading the Jabari, finding himself becoming more of a leader for all of Wakanda. Meanwhile, Danai Gurira's Okoye remains as loyal as ever to her people and "would gladly give her life" for her country, just as she always has.
Things are much more difficult for Angela Bassett's Ramonda, who already lost her husband, T'Chaka, a few years ago during the UN bombing in Captain America: Civil War. Now, she has to come to terms with losing her son, who had led Wakanda as king since T'Chaka's passing.
As for Letitia Wright's Shuri, the young princess has "buried herself in her technology" and spends a great deal of time in her laboratory, shutting herself off from the world as she comes to grips with losing her brother.
Wright shared a similar sentiment about Shuri in an interview with Black Girl Nerds from early August, noting how the hero is "so consumed with her work that she’s creating at another level" as she tries to process what's happened:
“Shuri definitely is consumed with her work. The loss of her brother causes her to be so consumed with her work that she’s creating at another level, at a higher level actually. So there’s so much new technology to look forward to, and I think that’s where her sweet spot is at the moment. Like, ‘how do I process this?’ And she just throws all of her energy, even more so, into technology. So, there’s a lot of cool new things to look out for.”
Additionally, Wright spoke with Entertainment Weekly about her role in the sequel, which is expanded this time around.
She loves the idea of having so many aspects to her character as "a young Black woman," particularly when young women come up to her and tell her what Shuri means to them:
“We haven’t seen that on a major scale, where there’s a young Black woman who’s a princess, and she’s also a scientist. I have this feeling of pride when a young woman comes up to me and says, 'Hey, you made me feel smart in school, and you made me feel like I can be in technology alongside a man, and I feel empowered.' That has changed my life forever.”
She also noted how much she felt Boseman's presence in every scene that she filmed as she tried "to keep a spiritual connection" with her co-star as the sequel paid tribute to his memory:
“I always carried him in every scene. I always would ask, ‘Bro, what do you think?’ and just try to keep a spiritual connection. He meant everything to me, and he’s the reason why I’m here. He picked me to be his sister, so I couldn’t have done this journey without him.”
Wakanda Pushing to the Future Without T'Challa
Even as difficult as Chadwick Boseman's loss has been for the real world, it's going to be an equally emotional experience seeing how his character's friends and family try to navigate a world without the Wakandan king. Particularly after losing King T'Chaka only a few years earlier, on top of losing half their people in The Snap, there's no telling how difficult this next movie is going to be for the country's core group of leaders.
Reports have already teased part of how T'Challa's mother, Ramonda, will deal with her son's passing as she addresses a United Nations assembly about the state of Wakanda's affairs. And with Shuri, Okoye, and M'Baku all taking on bigger roles in T'Challa's absence, this quartet will be key in driving the story forward while also ensuring that the late King is remembered in the most meaningful way possible.
With Black Panther 2 now coming in as the second-longest movie in MCU history behind Avengers: Endgame, fans will get a great deal of time with all of these heroes as they try to figure out how to best lead Wakanda through this tragedy.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will debut in theaters on Friday, November 11.