Filming is officially underway on Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but details about the film’s plot are harder to find than Wakanda itself. Following the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman last August, Wakanda Forever has the difficult task of continuing the story that began in 2018’s Black Panther without the participation of that film’s star. As a result, fans have a lot of questions about the upcoming sequel, including how its filmmakers plan on passing the Black Panther torch while simultaneously honoring Boseman’s legacy.
A new, alleged Marvel leak claims to answer some of those very questions, but make sure to take everything from this point on with a hefty grain of salt.
The Rumor — That Hashtag Show reports that not only will the search for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s next Black Panther be at the very heart of Wakanda Forever’s story, but that the sequel will take its time before naming T’Challa’s on-screen successor as well. That said, the site does state that Letitia Wright’s Shuri will ultimately take over the mantle from Boseman’s T’Challa in the film’s third act.
The outlet goes on to claim that, as has been previously rumored, actor Tenoch Huerta will be playing Namor the Sub-Mariner in the sequel. Apparently, the film will see Namor going to war with Wakanda, and will not feature any appearance of Doctor Doom, despite previous reports stating it would.
Again, it’s worth noting that these claims should all be treated as nothing more than rumors for the time being. Marvel has done its absolute best up to this point to keep the plot of Wakanda Forever a secret, which means that any information about the sequel that doesn’t come from the studio itself should be viewed with a heavy dose of skepticism.
That Hashtag Show also has a mixed track record, at best. So until Shuri actually puts on the Black Panther outfit, assume nothing.
Heroes and Villains — Marvel fans have been speculating for months now that it’ll be Shuri who ends up assuming her brother’s mantle in the MCU. Her close relationship with T’Challa means that she’d understand the weight of filling the position — and would be appropriately respectful of his legacy.
Shuri has also, to her credit, proven herself to be one of the smartest and most capable figures in the entire MCU. That makes her one of the few characters who could believably take on the responsibility that comes with the title. The fact that Letitia Wright is an undeniably charismatic screen performer just makes her an even more appealing candidate to take over the Black Panther franchise.
As for the claim that Namor really will be the villain in Wakanda Forever, it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility. The character is powerful enough to pose a real threat to the entirety of Wakanda, which could help bring the nation’s citizens together in the wake of their immense loss. Introducing a warlike and arrogant ruler like Namor as the film’s antagonist would also work as a way to further highlight just how strong and wise a leader Boseman’s T’Challa was.
The Inverse Analysis — Until more details from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever are officially released, there’s no way of knowing how accurate any of these claims are. It’s important to keep that in mind moving forward, especially since more rumors and purported leaks from the film are likely to start coming out the longer its production goes on.
As of now, this report certainly lines up well with many of the more popular rumors and theories about Wakanda Forever that have been circulating online in recent months. That doesn’t mean they’re automatically true, but it does raise interesting questions about what fans should expect.
In other words, is Marvel really going to make Shuri its new Black Panther like so many fans think it will, or does the studio have something else planned? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be released in theaters on July 8th, 2022.