Until now, the common consensus has been that Letitia Wright's Shuri will replace Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa as Black Panther. This comes due to comic precedence, her serving as the lead of the sequel, and visual similarities in the new suit, but comments from the cast have given some reason to doubt that.
Nakia's Lupita Nyong'o noted that the cast and crew "love the speculation,” while Okoye's Danai Gurira added that fans "haven’t guessed it at all.” So is Shuri the new Black Panther, or are there more twists to come? Could there even be multiple Wakandan protectors featured in Wakanda Forever?
Recently, speculation began running wild after, what appeared to be, a slightly different suit was featured in the official Black Panther 2 trailer. And while audiences aren't far away from learning the truth, Disney appears to have set the record straight with a new TV spot.
Black Panther 2 Spot Debunks Multiple Heroes Theory
The new "Live" spot for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever edited a shot of Wakanda's new hero in costume to add spots to the mask.
When this shot was featured in the official Wakanda Forever trailer, these spots had been missing from the mask, leading to speculation this may be a different suit altogether.
This now aligns with the mask design visible in other shots and those seen on the face of Letitia Wright's Shuri in previous MCU appearances.
Some fans had previously seen this slight distinction in the full trailer as a sign that there may be more than one Black Panther in Wakanda Forever. But it now appears as if the VFX team had simply missed a detail.
Will Black Panther 2 Feature Multiple Wakandan Heroes?
At this point, there's almost no denying that Letitia Wright's Shuri will be replacing Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa as Black Panther. Between the clear female physique of the new hero, her famous vibranium gauntlets being attached to the new suit, and the spots on the mask, the evidence is insurmountable.
But it remains possible that Marvel Studios is trying to throw fans off the scent by only highlighting what is clearly Shuri when there might be multiple Black Panthers. This could be an intriguing way to explore the many contenders - including Nakia, M'Baku, Shuri, and Okoye - before landing on the final replacement.
The validity of this theory was only further enhanced when two Black Panther helmets were shown in a recent trailer - although both had previously belonged to T'Challa in past outings. Although this could simply be as part of a moment of remembrance for Boseman's character and his heroic journey.
Wakanda Forever's cast already teased that there may be more to the puzzle of the next Black Panther, which could be having more than one person in the suit. Okoye's Danai Gurira hinted that fans are "not getting all of it right,“ while Nakia's Lupita Nyong’o added, “No, they haven’t guessed it at all.”
Spider-Man: No Way Home raised one interesting question related to this Black Panther topic as it revealed Wong became Sorcerer Supreme during the Blip. With that in mind, perhaps a new Wakandan protector may have even already been appointed when Black Panther 2 picks up in the absence of T'Challa and Shuri.
Whatever the case, T'Challa's sister certainly appears to be the lead of Black Panther 2, and that clearly lends to the idea she would ultimately be Wakanda's new hero. But that doesn't mean there can't be more to that journey to subvert expectations, as most are clearly expecting Shuri to be next in line.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on Friday, November 11.