Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to answer a longstanding question in the MCU: Who will become the next Black Panther?
After the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, Marvel Studios made the decision to not recast the role of T'Challa, leaving many to wonder how the Black Panther mantle will be addressed in the sequel.
As Wakanda Forever's release inches closer, speculation has become rampant on which MCU hero will become the Black Panther as seen in the first trailer. There is strong evidence that Letitia Wright's Shuri will take the mantle, especially after an official LEGO set unveiled that character wearing an apparent Black Panther costume.
Despite that, the Marvel actress is being careful not to confirm anything, only teasing that fans will find out when the movie releases in theaters in November.
Now, a new interview may have shed some light on the subject.
Letitia Wright Reveals Shuri as Black Panther Replacement Talks
In an interview with Empire, Shuri actress Letitia Wright talked about her character's journey in Wakanda Forever while also revealing details about her discussion with Ryan Coogler about becoming Black Panther's replacement.
Wright first touched on how her own experiences are similar to Shuri, noting that they allowed her to grieve and "gain strength" that she never thought she could ever have:
“Shuri’s journey has allowed me to grieve, to cry, to laugh, and to gain strength that I never thought I could ever have. Trials and tribulations make you who you are. You either fold or you get up and go again. I feel like Shuri kept looking at me every day, asking me if I was gonna fold or go again. And I just kept going until healing started to happen for me.”
When asked if Shuri will eventually become Black Panther, Wright admitted that it's a "tricky question to answer."
Despite that, the Marvel actress revealed that she already had a "chat" about becoming Black Panther with director Ryan Coogler and the late Chadwick Boseman during the first movie's development way back in 2017:
"I had a chat about it with Ryan and Chad when we were making Black Panther, and we touched on it briefly. When I realized I was playing Shuri, it was something that I really looked forward to.”
Why Shuri Deserves to Become the Next Black Panther
Letitia Wright's latest reveal is the biggest clue that Shuri is poised to be the next Black Panther in Wakanda Forever.
The fact that the Marvel actress already had talks with director Ryan Coogler and Chadwick Boseman about her being the next in line for the Black Panther mantle goes to show how the MCU's plan is years ahead, but the tragic passing of the actor essentially moved that timeline up.
Aside from the fact that Shuri is technically next in line for the throne, the character is best positioned for the mantle, due to her combined intelligence and skill in battle. While she is not a fighter, it's possible that Shuri managed to still have some training that makes her a more capable fighter, especially now that Wakanda is at war with Talocan.
With T'Challa's death now confirmed in the MCU, Wakanda is vulnerable, and it needs a leader that will rally the people against the forces of Namor and Talocan.
Shuri being able to be the first to channel her grief to move forward would inspire Wakandans, thus helping her nation to rise up and honor their fallen leader by fighting with everything they got.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premieres in theaters on Friday, November 11.