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Warning: Spoilers for Black Panther follow. Come back after you've seen the movie!
People are certainly saying a lot when it comes to Black Panther: It's one of the best movies in the MCU; it has terrific world-building; Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) is one of the best MCU villains; and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) is just a genuinely cool dude. All of this is true, but another point that's been continuously surfacing is that people really like Shuri, T'Challa's sister and the genius behind all of Wakanda's technological advancements. Played by Letitia Wright, Shuri, with her constant one-liners and scene-stealing personality, is clearly leaving an impression on people to the point where we have to wonder exactly where her character goes from here.
Given the sheer size of the MCU and the nearly unlimited entertainment power of Disney, there's no shortage of options for Shuri to make frequent appearances. In terms of finding the best option, there probably isn't one, but I can sure think of a bunch of different ways that Marvel can utilize Shuri that would be pretty satisfying for viewers (and hopefully Letitia Wright). Shuri may not have three sequels and an Avengers films under her belt, but the character has plenty of potential for some interesting avenues to demonstrate what made her such a compelling character in the first place.
The first choice that most people will jump to is a spin-off movie with Shuri as the star. There's no doubt that Shuri has lead star potential. As the smartest person in the world, she has the "special attribute" requirement down pat and it would be incredibly interesting to see what technology she develops and what she uses it for. I could see a spin-off movie taking her out of Wakanda and to a different area of the globe to share resources and technology now that Wakanda is actively building bridges with the world. Maybe some bad guys try to misuse the tech and then the movie becomes about the good that technology can do, and the bad that results when it's mishandled. If that sounds a little similar to Iron Man, well, that brings me to my next point...
What if Shuri became the next Iron Man? CinemaBlend's own Dirk Libbey previously broke down how Shuri as Iron Man could work, so I won't dig too deep into it here, but the idea is that with Robert Downey Jr.'s future in the MCU unclear post-Avengers 4, Shuri would make a great candidate to take over the mantle. She's got the brains for it (more so than Tony Stark, in fact), and she builds Black Panther suits, which are way more advanced than the majority of the suits found in Iron Man's armory. Now that all of the Heart Shaped Herbs have been destroyed (for now), if Shuri wants to get into the superhero game, this may be the best way to do it. If she can't be Black Panther, then Iron Man is a decent second.
However, that's not to say that Shuri can't become the Black Panther somewhere down the road. After the success of the movie, there's no way that Marvel is replacing Chadwick Boseman as the lead of the franchise until they've completely exhausted his contract. Once he's done, though, it makes sense that someone would take over the role and Shuri is the perfect candidate. In the comics, Shuri becomes Black Panther after her brother falls into a coma. She holds the title for a short time by herself before T'Challa regains consciousness, and then they both just kind of share the title until Shuri is killed later on. She didn't have the most memorable run (not that Marvel really let her), but it's notable that when she started out, she didn't have any of the typical Black Panther powers and she still managed to defend her country from threats. With the Heart Shaped Herb gone, the MCU could pull off a similar story.
It's likely too soon to give Shuri her own movie, so maybe having her continue her supporting role in Black Panther movies is the way to go. That's not very exciting though, so let's put a spin on it: Shuri should show up as support for other Marvel films. Part of the fun of the MCU is that it creates the opportunities for characters to pop up in each other's movies, creating interesting and clever pairings. We've seen this with Black Widow in Captain America: Winter Soldier and Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok, so it's just finding the right movie for her to visit. My personal favorite choice: A Spider-Man movie. Peter Parker and Shuri are a similar age, with a shared interest in science. It's not so much of a stretch to think that with Wakanda now creating outreach centers, Peter's class could take a field trip to one where Shuri herself shows them around. I think it's a cool idea at least, and it provides the option of Spider-Man getting tricked out with sweet Wakandan tech.
All are fairly good options, but ultimately Marvel is the one who will be making the final decision. What's clear is that Shuri is a character that people want to see more of and she likely has a bright future ahead of her in the MCU. In the meantime, you don't have to wait much longer to see Shuri once again. She'll be appearing in some capacity in Avenger: Infinity War, which comes out May 4, 2018. Hopefully, she has that scene with Spider-Man that I'm asking for!
What should Marvel do with Shuri?
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