On August 28, 2020, the world was shocked by the news that Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman had passed away after a battle with colon cancer. Fans around the globe are still morning his loss, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe with continue on without their Black Panther.
Writer and director Ryan Coogler is back for the sequel and the official title was recently revealed to be Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The title seemingly reflects previous comments from Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige that the sequel will focus heavily on the fictional African country.
After Sam Wilson took on the Captain America mantle in the season finale of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, he became the latest Black superhero to lead the MCU into Phase 4. In a way, Mackie is filling Boseman's shoes of representation amongst Marvel superheroes on the big screen.
Considering the events of The Falcon and The Winter Solider, could Sam Wilson appear in Wakanda Forever?
CAPTAIN AMERICA APPROVES OF WAKANDA FOREVER
In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, the new Captain America star Anthony Mackie called the sequel title Black Panther: Wakanda Forever "dope." Mackie added that he is excited that the film will focus on Wakanda ensuring that the Black Panther legacy lives on.
"It's dope. I feel like continuing that legacy is very important. There are a bunch of amazing actors and actresses under that Black Panther mantle who are now going to come together, and that legacy will live on. So, I'm really excited that they're showing that it's not specifically about Black Panther, but it's about Wakanda."
After being asked if Captain America could possibly appear in the sequel, considering his new suit was made by Wakandans, Mackie jokingly admitted he has "a Wakanda visa."
"I do have a Wakanda visa, so I can go to Wakanda as much as I want. I have a passport and a Wakanda visa and I'm vaccinated, so I can go to Wakanda."
On the subject of his possible appearance in the movie, Mackie said he just "want[s] to make sure that it's done right for [Chadwick Boseman]."
"It's strange now, because of the amount of respect and admiration I have for Chad, having known him for so long. You just want to do everything the right way. I don't know what that answer is. I don't know what that right thing is. I just want to make sure that it's done right for him."
SAM WILSON FILLING IN FOR T'CHALLA?
Representation wasn't necessarily the strength of the MCU's Infinity Saga. Most films had white male leads, especially considering the Big Three trilogies from Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. 2018's Black Panther was the first MCU film with a predominantly Black cast and lead protagonist. 2019's Captain Marvel was the first solo film led by a woman and 2021's Black Widow will be the second.
The reported Captain America 4 film in production will be led by Mackie and represent the first Black Captain America to hit the big screen. Feature films like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, and The Marvels are all set to star diverse casts that will bring forth a new era for the MCU.
An appearance from Sam Wilson in Wakanda Forever could be an amazing moment, but runs the risk of taking away from the story that the filmmakers are aiming to tell. Filling the showe of Chadwick Boseman is an impossible task and making sure "that it's done right" has to be at the top of the priority list for Marvel. The Black Panther franchise is in good hands with Feige and Coogler, but creating a great story while paying tribute to Boseman is a tall task.
Find out how the legacy lives on when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on July 8, 2022.