The Marvel Cinematic Universe is on a sequel kick. After the massive events of Avengers: Endgame, the action is now devoted to following up on every character as they cope with the aftermath, whether that’s exploring Hawkeye’s trauma or documenting Wanda Maximoff’s grief. The latest in this long trend of follow-ups is Spider-Man: No Way Home, which covered Peter Parker as he tries to graduate high school and apply for college.
But could this next chapter of his life include a giant Black Panther 2 cameo? Set leaks certainly make it seem possible. Here’s how.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has had a fraught production, from on-set injuries to the controversial vaccination decisions of its star Letitia Wright. But production has trucked along over the past year, including a location shoot at MIT. At the time, this was seen as confirmation that Riri Williams would make her MCU debut as Ironheart ahead of her own Disney+ series.
However, the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home puts that leak in a new light. Ned, MJ, and Peter all apply to MIT, and it looks like Ned and MJ will be heading to Boston come next fall. Could they appear in Black Panther 2, and maybe even meet Riri before she comes into her superhero identity?
With Spider-Man: No Way Home leaving Ned and MJ with no memory of Peter, and Peter not looking to reconnect, the only way they can feasibly appear in the MCU from here is to cross paths with another superhero. Since Black Panther: Wakanda Forever already filmed at MIT, that could be the perfect solution.
Although it’s unclear if Zendaya and Jacob Batalon were present at MIT while Black Panther 2 was filming, Marvel proved that secret cameos are its bread and butter in No Way Home. No matter what we’re told, there’s always the possibility they could appear in some capacity.
Then there’s Ironheart. The initial leak led us to believe that Black Panther 2 was going to introduce Riri Williams, but with Ned and MJ also attending, Riri and MIT itself could be playing a bigger role than we first thought.
Ned and MJ make a great superhero support team. Why ruin that chemistry by abandoning the characters when a new college friend could be the superpowered replacement for Spider-Man they literally didn’t know they needed? It’s just the first step to the next generation of Avengers stepping up to the plate and making their way into the spotlight.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premieres in theaters November 11, 2022.