According to a Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star, Black Panther 3 may be farther away than fans first thought.
Is Black Panther 3 on Pause?
In talking to Inverse, Letitia Wright explained why Black Panther 3 isn't yet underway as well as her own pitch for when it does.
After tackling the lead role in Black Panther 2, Wright took an acting break, as the 2022 sequel was, in her words, "a big journey."
Therefore, no progress has been made on a Black Panther threequel as of yet, even though Wright is "excited" about the opportunity when it comes.
But not only did Wright feel a break was needed after Wakanda Forever, but she also felt director Ryan Coogler needed one as well, sharing in a previous interview that he "needs rest to think of what to put together for the next one."
As for that "next one," the Shuri actress has ideas.
Much like in Marvel Comics, the MCU's Shuri also became Wakanda's Black Panther and "took the mantle at a time where people really doubted her."
As for where her character goes from here, Wright noted that, in the comics, Shuri "takes on a new form" and possesses "crazy superpowers:"
“She actually takes on a new form in the future. She really never dies, which is really interesting. She has these amazing crazy superpowers, and she’s an encyclopedia of information.”
This arc refers to Shuri's story in Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther run, A Nation Under Our Feet, which follows the events of Secret Wars where Shuri sacrifices herself and eventually transcends to the Djalia, the Plane of Wakandan Memory.
What to Expect Ahead of Black Panther 3
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever may have been Marvel Studios' most difficult production to date.
Along with dealing with the pandemic and on-set injuries, much like the film's characters, Black Panther 2's cast and writer and director Ryan Coogler were dealing with the loss of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman.
In addition, the weight of the successful and culturally significant franchise fell on Letitia Wright's shoulders. No wonder the actress felt she needed a break.
And, while that could be a contributing factor to why no work has been done on Black Panther 3, the MCU's upcoming slate is already packed with future projects, some of which may now be delayed.
Greenlighting yet another film probably isn't in Marvel Studios' best interest; and due to the emotional weight of the November sequel, it's probably best for the Black Panther franchise to breathe a bit before moving forward.
Still, that's not to say members of the cast - or Wakanda itself - won't pop up in future MCU projects.
Marvel Studios may shed further light on the franchise's future - and that of Shuri - at San Diego Comic-Con this July.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is available to stream on Disney+.