Though Marvel continues to officially stay tight-lipped on just which of his allies will take up the claws of Wakanda’s ruling position following the passing of Chadwick Boseman, a recent update to LEGO’s official website regarding the brand’s upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever sets has seemingly confirmed the identity of T’Challa’s successor.
RELATED: Disney And Marvel Face Massive Backlash For Using The Late Chadwick Boseman’s Twitter Account To Promote Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
As seen in marketing materials leaked to the public on July 26th courtesy of their official Instructions portal, two of LEGO’s planned sets for the film – Shuri’s Sunbird and King Namor’s Throne Room – feature Shuri clad in her own version of the Black Panther suit.
Given the golden highlights along her minifig’s sides, this suit is most likely the one emphasized at the end of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s first trailer, indicating that the fallen Avenger will apparently see his legacy continued on by his sister.
RELATED: Daniel Kaluuya Says He Will Not Appear In Black Panther: Wakanada Forever, Seemingly Confirming Film’s Focus On All-Female Cast Of Heroes
Lending further credence to this confirmation, a third set aptly titled Shuri’s Lab comes with both a minifig of the Wakandan Princess as well as what appears to be T’Challa’s Black Panther suit, suggesting that the film will feature at least a scene of Shuri attempting to either modify or duplicate her brother’s equipment.
This progression of the Black Panther’s cinematic mythos comes as a surprise given not only the fact that it’s comic-accurate – a quality which Marvel Studios has proudly and openly turned away from in recent years – but it keeps actress Letitia Wright as a major part of the MCU despite the disdain many stans hold towards her over her skepticism towards COVID-19 vaccines.
RELATED: Black Panther Actress Letitia Wright Addresses Rumors About Her Stance On Vaccines
The backlash against Wright began on December 3rd, 2020, when the actress tweeted out a ‘prayer hands’ emoji alongside a link to an episode of the On The Table Podcast in which hosts Tomi and Tobi Arayomi expressed their personal concerns regarding the vaccines’ development.
In a clip from the now-deleted episode posted to the Rig Nation Instagram page, Tomi can be seen taking issue with the potential use of the chemical luciferase as a proposed additive to future COVID-19 vaccines.
“You want us to not be conspiratorial,” exclaimed Arayomi. “but you’re provoking it! Why? Why? What’s wrong with you? Why would you have a product called luciferase?”
A bioluminescence-producing chemical whose name comes from the Greek term for “light-bringer”, the future addition of luciferase to COVID-19 vaccines has been proposed as a way to track who has and has not been inoculated, particularly in underdeveloped countries.
Near immediately after sharing the video, Wright was met with pushback and criticism, with some users accusing her of being an ‘anti-vaxxer,’ while others attempted to inform the actress on the origin of the chemical itself.
As the backlash against her continued to grow, Wright tweeted “if you don’t conform to popular opinions. but ask questions and think for yourself….you get cancelled.”
RELATED: Black Panther Actress Letitia Wright Reportedly Fired Her U.S. PR Team After She Faced Backlash For Being Skeptical Of Covid-19 Vaccines
Responding to one particular user who explained to her “in biological research, luciferase is commonly used as a reporter to assess activity in cells that are transfected with a genetic construct containing the luciferase gene under the control of a promoter interest,” Wright then noted that “the name lucifer is an interesting choice”.
In an interaction with Twitter user @Flo_Mikey, who told the actress that “advocating dangerous ideas is not the same as thinking for yourself” before calling her a “f—ing letdown, Wright replied “His main point is what is in it and is it safe for our bodies to take.”
“I took that point from it,” she said. “If it disappoints you that I would simply ask this. Then my bad”.
RELATED: Former Disney CEO Bob Iger Claims Making Black Panther Near The Top Of His Proudest Accomplishments List
Replying to a separate user’s chastising that she “should have taken a moment to look up these answers for yourself instead of coming here arguing with us and deflecting anyone that tries to explain why these are not good things you’re saying,” the apparent latest actor to don the identity of Black Panther asked the user “to “please note I never said anything.”
“I simply posted a video and I think his point of asking about it before is valid,” she affirmed.
Eventually, after a day of outrage and backlash, Wright apologized for sharing the video, clarifying to fans, “my intention was not to hurt anyone, my ONLY intention of posting the video was it raised my concerns with what the vaccine contains and what we are putting in our bodies.”
“Nothing else,” she added.
RELATED REPORT: Chadwick Boseman’s Brother Wants Marvel To Recast T’Challa For Their Black Panther Franchise
A month later, The Hollywood Reporter’s Tatiana Siegel, Chris Gardner, and Borys Kit reported that Wright was espousing anti-vaccine views on the set of the upcoming Marvel sequel.
“God bless you all,” opened a personal statement from Wright shared in accompaniment to the above image. “ It saddens me to have to address he reports published by The Hollywood Reporter on October 6th 2021. The report spoke about my conduct on the set of Black Panther 2. I honestly assert that this was completely untrue.”
In response to this claim, which even the THR reporters admitted to have been supported by only a single alleged source close to the production, Wright took to her personal Instagram account and shared an image of a suit of an armor featuring a quote from Isaiah 54:17 which states, “Weapons made to attack you won’t be successful; words spoken against you won’t hurt at all.”
“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me, knows that I work incredibly hard at my craft & my main focus is always to do work that’s impactful and inspiring. That has been & will continue to be my only focus,” Wright asserted.
“I will continue to hold onto Gods hands, and onto the scripture of Isaiah 54:17. I continue to focus on my healing,” she concluded. “Thank you for your prayers. And I continue to pray for Gods love, peace & joy for you all. God bless you. Letitia.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to close out Marvel’s Phase 4 on November 11th, 2022.