Following Chadwick Boseman's tragic death in 2020, Marvel Studios announced that Black Panther 2 would honor the actor and his hero, T'Challa, in a sequel that came with the subtitle "Wakanda Forever." Marvel used this to help honor the legacy that Boseman built in his four live-action appearances as Wakanda's protector while also shifting the focus to the hidden African nation and its challenges to rebuild after losing the Black Panther.
Director Ryan Coogler and the rest of his team have discussed many of the changes that had to be made to Black Panther 2 after Boseman's death, but it was never clear when the movie's title was set into stone ahead of its release.
But now, a new quote from a high-ranking producer on Black Panther 2 confirms that its subtitle was actually meant for a different project earlier in the process.
Black Panther 3 Originally Titled Wakanda Forever
Speaking with Collider, Marvel Studios VP of Production & Development Nate Moore revealed what the studio initially planned to use as the title for Black Panther 3.
Moore noted how there was "literally a list of hundreds" of potential names for the sequel before landing on Wakanda Forever. He also noted that it initially felt "like the title of the third movie," but he explained how it "felt really appropriate thematically" for the story that was being told this time:
Collider: "What were some of the alternate titles that this film almost was called?"
Moore: "Yeah, that's a good question. There was literally a list of hundreds."
Collider: "That's what Black Panther 3 is for."
Moore: "That's right. You're like, Kingdom of the Deep? You're like, “Does it have to be about Namor?” Then we realized that Wakanda Forever felt right, because it's a story about triumph through adversity. It's a story about legacy, it's a story about persistence, and Wakanda Forever says all those things. Initially, I will say this, at one point it was like, 'Oh, that feels like the title of the third movie. Where do you go from Wakanda Forever? That feels like it's the end.' But no, actually it felt really appropriate thematically to the story we were trying to tell.
What Title Will Black Panther 3 Use?
Choosing the subtitle of a sequel is always a challenging prospect, especially for a Marvel movie and especially for one that faced as many challenges as Black Panther 2 did. But in the end, Marvel went with a phrase that had been made as iconic as Chadwick Boseman's performance from the first movie, with fans also hearing it in Avengers: Infinity War before it became the central theme of the next Black Panther story.
And while "Wakanda Forever" was initially meant to be used for the Black Panther franchise's third movie, Marvel now has a tough task ahead of them to figure out what Black Panther 3 will actually be called.
The team already has a few ideas for what the third movie could use for a title, although they're is currently waiting to see how fans react to the one currently in theaters before they green-light that movie. Based on the reactions that critics and some fans have offered thus far, that decision likely won't be too far away.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now playing in theaters worldwide.