The Walt Disney Company and Marvel Studios released their first trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and it reveals that Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa will be replaced by a female character taking on the mantle of Black Panther.
The trailer doesn’t confirm which female character will be replacing T’Challa as it only shows a female character in the Black Panther suit.
While it doesn’t confirm which character is taking on the role of Black Panther it does heavily imply that that character is Shuri. The trailer features a clip of Shuri in a flooded throne room that has also been set ablaze. A voiceover from Angela Basset as Ramonda is heard saying, “Show them who we are.”
The next and final clip of the trailer features the female Black Panther dropping onto a snow-covered ground.
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Multiple scoopers claimed back in November that Letitia Wright’s Shuri would become the next Black Panther.
Scooper Grace Randolph noted on November 5th that Shuri would take over writing, “I hear that they are making a Chadwick Boseman digital double that’s looking very life like…”
She added, “The current plan is that T’Challa will die in battle at the beginning of the film & Shuri becomes the new Black Panther.”
On November 12, 2020, scooper Mikey Sutton also detailed, “First, Marvel Studios hasn’t made the final decision yet on who will be the next Black Panther. However, they are leaning towards Letitia Wright, who played T’Challa’s sister Shuri. I say “leaning” because they contemplated other options but there is no doubt in my mind, nor those of the insiders I spoke to, that she is the one.”
He further detailed, “Second, she won’t automatically be Black Panther. She has to prove herself in the sequel. Is she worthy of being the next Black Panther? The Black Panther is not really a specific character but a title that is passed on from one generation to another like another jungle-based superhero, the comic-strip icon the Phantom.”
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A recent LEGO set reveal fueled further speculation that Shuri becomes Black Panther in the film. The set titled King Namor’s Throne Room shows what appears to be Shuri in a Black Panther suit without her helmet on wielding some kind of firearm.
The description of the set does confirm that it “includes Shuri, Attuma and King Namor minifigures as well as a buildable submarine, throne room and accessories.”
The submarine is described as a Skirmisher sub and the suit that Shuri is wearing might be some kind of underwater suit created by the Wakandans rather than the Black Panther suit albeit it looks similar to the Black Panther suit seen in the trailer.
The idea that Shuri would become the next Black Panther did occur in the comics in Black Panther #5 (2009).
During the Dark Reign event, Shuri would seek out the Panther God to become the next Black Panther after T’Challa is put into a coma by Dr. Doom after he refuses to join his cabal that includes Namor, Norman Osborn, Emma Frost, Loki, and The Hood.
However, the Panther God rejects Shuri’s bid to become Black Panther citing her hubris.
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Nevertheless, the Panther God does allow her to live and when Morlun, Devourer of Totems, launches an attack on Wakanda, Shuri puts on the Black Panther outfit and confronts the seemingly unstoppable foe.
She doesn’t do it for her own prideful purposes, but to save her brother, to save her family, and to save her nation and culture from being destroyed.
This resolve to fight, coupled with taking on a nearly suicidal fight against Morlun would earn her the blessing of the Panther God and the right to become Black Panther.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever arrives in theaters on November 11, 2022.
The official description for the film states, “In the film, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba) fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda.”
What do you make of this reveal that the next Black Panther is a female? Do you think it’s Shuri?
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