The sequel to Black Panther (2018) will hit theaters on November 11, 2022 — and was forced to move on without the glue that held the franchise together, the late Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa. When Marvel Studios announced that they would not be recasting Boseman, Marvel fans began to speculate on who could replace the first African American hero in the MCU as the new Black Panther. And, a new rumor suggests that it might not be who almost every Marvel fan was expecting.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is expected to introduce Namor the Sub-Mariner (rumored to be plated by Tenoch Huerta). Namor is reportedly going to be waging war on Wakanda now that it does not have T’Challa to defend it. Namor is the King of Atlantis and has had many conflicts with Wakanda in Marvel Comics.
Marvel fans expected that Princess Shuri (Letitia Wright) would end up taking on the mantle of Black Panther in Wakanda Forever, as she did in 2009’s Black Panther #5 by Reginald Hudlin. She takes over as Black Panther after T’Challa died. Marvel Studios may have planned to have Letitia Wright’s Shuri become at some point in the future but Chadwick Boseman’s untimely death could have pushed those plans up.
However. the latest leak on r/MarvelStudiosSpoilers subreddit suggests that Marvel Studios may have another hero in mind for Wakanda’s new Black Panther. Okoye (Danai Gurira) who is the current leader of the Dora Milaje will don the vibranium suit, at least temporarily.
Okoye is also rumored to be getting her own Disney+ series, and perhaps she will lead the series as the first female Black Panther. Okoye never held the mantle of Black Panther in Marvel Comics but she did recently lead a team called the Agents of Wakanda.
The leak does not reveal any reason that Marvel Studios may be passing over Shuri for the moment. Perhaps it is because her character is still too young, or it would upset other plans that the MCU already has for Princess Shuri.
Or, it could have come after the backlash Letitia Wright received after reportedly spreading anti-vaccine sentiments both on set and on her social media accounts.
More on Black Panther 2
The sequel will be directed by Ryan Coogler. Michaela Coel will debut in the Marvel Studios in an unnamed role that some Marvel fans hoped would be the X-Men Storm / Ororo Munroe, who married T’Challa in the comics. When other sources claimed her character would be named Aneka, theories speculated that she could be Madam Slay, a lover of Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). Madam Slay has no alter ego name that is revealed in Marvel Comics.
Daniel Kaluuya will be returning as W’Kabi, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Winston Duke as M’Baku, Florence Kasumba as Ayo, and Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will also introduce Dominique Thorne as Riri William/ Ironheart.
The Marvel Phase Four film will also feature an LGBTQ Love Story. Production has already begun and set leaks have revealed tributes to Chadwick Boseman, who gave his final performance as T’Challa in the Marvel animated series What If..? on Disney+.
Let us know in the comments if you think Okoye will be a better Black Panther than Shuri.