With San Diego Comic Con coming to a close, Marvel fans have been mind-blown over the current plans to expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe thanks to the studios’ live action panel, which happened yesterday night. At the panel, Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, revealed to hundreds of fans new footage of upcoming projects, their Phase Five and Six slates, and new footage of their upcoming film in November, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
According to a released synopsis, the film focuses on T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman) family in the wake of his death, their struggle to protect Wakanda from the new world, and their fight to survive a new era in Wakandan history. The film sees Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), Okoye (Danai Gurira), M’Baku (Winston Duke), and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) returning to face a new threat that comes from Atlantis with its leader Namor (Tenoch Huerta).
With Black Panther: Wakanda Forever heading to theaters this November and many details and rumors about what could happen in the film, I’ll be taking a look at what the film could have in store, what could be the outcome of this film, and how it could impact the future phases.
Impact of T’Challa’s Loss
It’s been no surprise that Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa has had an amazing impact on the world, both within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and real life. Without Boseman’s touch on the original touch, there wouldn’t even be a Black Panther to begin with. However, within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the loss of T’Challa seems to be playing a bigger role than originally intended for this sequel piece.
Though the details of T’Challa’s death seem unknown right now, it definitely looks like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be a tribute piece to the character and one of its aspects will explore how T’Challa’s death has impacted not only the members of his family, but overall throughout the nation. From the newly released teaser trailer, Wakanda is still trying to grasp the death of their fallen hero and the grief will still be felt as this movie will show. In the wake of his death, Ramonda has taken back the throne and is serving as queen while the mantle of Black Panther remains open.
While it’s currently unknown who might be taking the mantle, we do get a hint at the end of the teaser that Shuri could be indeed taking the role previously occupied by her brother. This is confirmed through the given synopsis and teaser trailer that Nakia will continue being a War Dog (even getting her own War Dog outfit) and Okoye will likely stick with the Dora Milaje.
The loss and grieving of T’Challa is definitely what the movie will be exploring and its impact could go farther than just Wakanda’s perspective. In fact, with T’Challa’s lasting impact, the whole world could be trying to use the nation for its resources, which I’ll explore next.
With the King of Wakanda now gone, it looks like the world might be trying to get their hands on the precious resources that made Wakanda what it is now in the MCU. Currently, the world is still trying to wrangle itself from the Snap-Blip period and many countries and organizations are trying to re-adjust to normal life whether that be S.W.O.R.D. from WandaVision to the Global Repatriation Council in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
Last we’ve seen of the politics in the history of Wakanda, T’Challa was ready to open Wakanda to the rest of the world at the end of Black Panther, though with the events of Avengers: Infinity War, things completely took a turn for the nation as Thanos and his armies invaded.
In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, it looks like the world is turning its back on Wakanda by doing their own Vibranium reclamation projects. In the teaser trailer, Queen Ramonda and other Wakandan representatives will be attending a United Nations panel (as pictured above) possibly to announce Wakanda will be cutting ties after sacrificing everything Wakanda has. This can be enforced in her speech throughout the teaser trailer as she cries out, “Have I not given everything?”
With this information, it could possibly lead to the world looking for its own vibranium. In the teaser, a group of armed soldiers are sent to what looks like a Wakandan facility where a lot of vibranium is being held. Near the end of the teaser, a group of Dora Milaje are sent to stop these soldiers. Is the world trying to retaliate against Wakanda for holding back their resources?
Also in the teaser, there is a scene where two divers in suits are preparing to go in the water, supposedly to recover something. According to a leak by insider Daniel Richtman, a team of scientists, with the help of Riri Williams’ (Dominique Thorne) gadgets, are looking for vibranium in the ocean and get intercepted by Namor. Furthermore, according to The Direct, production casted two scuba divers who would be involved in a crime scene near the water.
This could possibly connecting to the previous point of them recovering the bodies of the team that went missing (which could lead to Everett Ross’ involvement as seen) or be the seen where the team sends two divers to find vibranium, but end up finding Namor instead. Either way, these events could be a building block to the inevitable war between Wakanda and Tlālōcān, which I’ll look at next.
The Sparks of War
It was always speculated that Namor and the Atlanteans would formally make their debut through Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but their development within the larger MCU would be a mystery. However, it looks like the Sub-Mariner is finally making his appearance in a big way and will leave a lasting impact to come in the next phases.
Debuting in Motion Picture Funnies Weekly #1, Namor is a mutant-hybrid born from a human sailor and an Atlantean princess and was made into the king of Atlantis. In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Namor and the Atlanteans take inspirations from Mesoamerican culture (Atlantis is presumably being changed to Tlālōcān), though possibly still have the same attitudes as Atlantean culture in the comics.
From what we know about Namor so far, it looks like his origins will be an adaptation from the comics with a twist. In the teaser, it looks like a young Namor is facing the loss of something important, which could lead to him to depart from humanity and embrace his other side. In more scenes from the teaser, it looks like we’ll be seeing a lot of Wakandan-Atlantean action from what looks like the invasion of Wakanda to a large vessel battle. Besides the action, Namor and the Atlanteans could get the development they need in this movie.
According to user CineStealth, fans could be seeing Namor’s people and Spanish conquistadors fighting it out in a flashback set during the Spanish colonization of the Americas. This scene could enforce Namor’s beliefs of humanity being a war-faring species and cause him to settle down in the ocean until the time is right.
However, in the times of modern humanity, Namor could be seeking help from the Wakandans, but eventually turned away due to the rest of the world wanting Wakanda’s help according to both Chippu and Daniel Richtman. This could be the aforementioned scene during Queen Ramonda’s speech about Wakanda sacrificing everything it has for the rest of the world. With Wakanda and Tlālōcān ultimately not coming to an agreement (and Wakanda protecting Riri from Namor via Richtman), the war between the two nations is set in stone and lead into the movie’s main conflict.
Speaking of Riri, what will the protégé of Iron Man be doing in this movie and how will it connect to the upcoming Ironheart series?
Riri Williams is going to make her big debut to the MCU through Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and might have a bigger role to play when it comes to the incoming conflict between Wakanda and Tlālōcān. However, she might not be thrown into the conflict as quickly as it seems.
While we do get Riri Williams in this film, her journey will most likely begin at the M.I.T. campus as seen in set pictures from The Cosmic Circus. Presumably, using Richtman’s leak, the Wakandans would have discovered the gadget that initiated Namor’s attack on the team that was searching for vibranium and tracked Riri down in order to get her help. If this does play out, then it would also be another reason why Namor wants to attack the Wakandans since they’re protecting Riri instead of handing her over. This could lead into the chase scene that was seen in the trailers.
Luckily for fans, we will get to see Riri don her two new armors. Her first armor is described to be made out of car parts (as confirmed thanks to Funko‘s reveals) while her second armor will be made out of vibranium as seen in the teaser trailer. Though it’s unclear how long Riri could be in the movie, it’s possible that Riri could help the Wakandans up for a certain point before she leaves the movie to set up her Ironheart series. We’ve already gotten a sneak peak of what’s in store for the character and it’ll be interesting where Marvel is going to take the character next!
With all these new characters and details about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever being discovered, it’s no surprise that figures from other sides of the Marvel universe want to get involved with such a big conflict.
A Looming Threat
However, with all the details of what could happen in the movie so far, don’t forget that Marvel Studios is willing to expand its plans for Phases Five and Six. Though Black Panther: Wakanda is willing to remain focused, there have been speculations and rumors of what or who the movie could introduce to keep the connectivity of the MCU up. So far, there have only been two plausible guesses: Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Doctor Doom.
While Valentina was first introduced to fans in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, she’s been making her rounds in other MCU properties such as appearing in the post-credits of Black Widow and having an impact on the finale of Hawkeye. According to insider Charles Murphy, Valentina could make an appearance in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever presumably to recruit someone for her “special team of enhanced individuals.”
According to The Direct, Val is confirmed to appear, though whoever she might be recruiting is still unknown. Whatever the case may be, Val could definitely play a role in continuing to set up properties like Thunderbolts, but we’ll have to see where the movie takes her character next as well as who she could be recruiting.
Now, let’s talk about the other elephant in the room: that being the only and one Doctor Doom.
It’s been long predicted that Doctor Doom could finally make his debut in the MCU sometime in the future, but rumors suggest that the iconic figure could finally appear in this film (though, at most, it would be a stand-in.) With Howard Stern’s mention of working on something Doctor Doom-related to multiple reports of the big villain being in this movie, it looks like Doctor Doom may appear, but there have been multiple accounts reporting Doom’s potential appearance.
According to FandomWire, Doom may be the one pulling the strings of the Wakandan-Atlantean conflict, further being enforced by Richtman’s leak stating that Doom was the one to send the team to get vibranium. According to Charles Murphy, Doom could be trying to expand into Africa, and in turn the tribes of Wakanda, for his empire. With vibranium being one of the rarest and riches metals the world had ever seen, it’s no wonder Doom would want to expand to Wakanda. However, his presence in the MCU so far will likely be behind the scenes as Marvel Studios places Kang the Conqueror front and center of this new Multiverse Saga.
Whatever happens in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, this movie will definitely be one of the bigger movies to cap of Marvel Studios’ latest phase and hopefully, it’ll serve as an amazing tribute piece to the late Chadwick Boseman. With Coogler’s direction of this property, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever looks like it will be an exciting and interesting movie to experience.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters November 11.