Wakanda forever means Wakanda one more time for filmmaker Ryan Coogler, because the Black Panther writer-director is slated to return for the blockbuster sequel. Here comes Black Panther 2!

The Hollywood Reporter revealed on Thursday that Coogler has quietly closed a deal to write and direct the sequel to the top-grossing solo superhero movie of all time.

This comes as a surprise to nobody, and it only serves as further evidence that Marvel Studios has been cagey about its release calendar because everyone — or at least almost everyone — that died in Infinity War is coming back by the end of Avengers 4.

Immediately after Black Panther premiered in February 2018, Marvel President Kevin Feige confirmed the studio’s interest in having Coogler return for a sequel. When asked outright if they wanted a Coogler-led sequel, Feige said, “Absolutely.” This was, however, months before Avengers: Infinity War, when Thanos snapped his fingers with an Infinity Gauntlet full of Infinity Stones to kill half the universe, including King T’Challa.

“This is no place to die,” T’Challa said to Okoye. And then he promptly died.

'Avengers: Infinity War' T'Challa death
"And all we are is dust in the wind."

When I saw Avengers: Infinity War for the first time and the heroes began turning to ash one-by-one, I believed everything that was happening was genuine — until T’Challa turned to ash. Chadwick Boseman’s time in the MCU had been much too short already, and considering Black Panther’s monumental commercial success, there’s almost no way that the greater powers at Disney would ever let Marvel Studios actually kill the character off.

Marvel Studios would have to make the events of Avengers 4 undo all of this, right?

There is the alternative explanation that T’Challa and the rest of the people annihilated by Thanos stay dead, leaving his sister Shuri to take up the mantle as Black Panther. She did just that in the Marvel Comics. The story of the Black Panther is the story of Wakanda, not just T’Challa, and even with half its population dead, life still goes on.

The Hollywood Reporter also notes that sources claim Coogler will write the film in 2019 in the hopes that production might start in late-2019 or early-2020. The release date is still very much so undetermined, but Disney has blocked off May 7, July 30, and November 5 in 2021 for two major films so either of those is possible. November 6, 2020 is another date on that calendar, but then again that might be too soon.

The sequel to Black Panther will almost definitely be one of them.

Suggested viewing: An exploration of afrofuturism and how it’s far more than simply “black sci-fi.”