The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been going for a decade but it has arguably never had a movie make the kind of impact that Black Panther did. A blockbuster film from a black director and featuring an almost all black cast, the significance of Ryan Coogler's film cannot be understated. Black Panther was a cultural phenomenon, ensuring that 'Wakanda Forever' will be more than just a slogan emblazoned on T-shirts or a point of pride shouted at the film's stars, it is a mission statement and a prophecy, meaning that Wakanda, and Black Panther will be on our theater screens forever, or at least the next few years or so.
Which brings us to Black Panther 2, which will probably make enough money for Disney to actually build Wakanda. Obviously, like the rest of the MCU, we don't know much about what will happen in Avengers 4 and beyond, but Black Panther 2 is coming and there are some things we do know, as well as some inferences and speculation we can make. So, let's get started!
What Is The Black Panther 2 Release Date?
Like much of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase 4, Black Panther 2's release date is a mystery. The only movie with an official release date so far is Spider-Man: Far From Home, which hits theaters next July. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was supposed to be one of the films that set the stage for Phase 4, but after the James Gunn situation that exploded over the summer of 2018, that film has been delayed and presumably won't come out till 2022 or later. That delay, coupled with Black Panther's incredible success could mean that we'll see Black Panther 2 sooner than was originally intended.
Marvel has a bunch of release dates carved out for untitled films from 2020 to 2022 and it stands to reason that, for one of those, we can book our tickets back to Wakanda. One of those mystery movies was set to release on July 30, 2021 and has since been moved to February 12, 2021. Given the year-round blockbuster season and the success Marvel found with Black Panther in February during Black History Month, it seems possible that the studio could choose to not fix what isn't broken by releasing Black Panther 2 in the same month that its predecessor found so much success.
Production is expected to start late 2019 or early 2020. So, that would put Black Panther 2 on track for that February 12, 2021 release date, or, perhaps, May 7th of that year where Marvel has staked another claim.
What Is The Black Panther 2 Rating?
This is one unknown that is really anything but. Unless the MPAA revamps its rating system (a revamp that is arguably overdue) then Black Panther 2, like its predecessor and all of the MCU movies, will be PG-13. That is the sweet spot for modern blockbusters and you can bet Disney will make sure Black Panther 2 hits it, with more prolonged sequences of action violence.
Although, truth be told, given the success of the first film, you could probably slap this thing with an NC-17 and still make a killing at the box office. Obviously, there is no concern of that, and a PG-13 rating will guarantee that Black Panther 2 will maximize the available moviegoing public to fill up theaters. As we saw with the first film, though, I would still expect some more mature and heavy themes in this film to accompany the action spectacle.
Who Is Writing And Directing Black Panther 2?
Ryan Coogler both wrote and directed Black Panther and was, thus, integral to its success, so it is encouraging that he will be returning to write and direct Black Panther 2. This was expected given the reception to what Ryan Coogler did with the first film and how it showered Disney with ticket sales worth their weight in vibranium.
What Will Black Panther 2 Be About?
We don't know exactly what the MCU will look like post-Avengers 4, but, just based on what happened in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, there should be plenty of new challenges for T'Challa and company to face. At the end of Black Panther, T'Challa revealed Wakanda's true nature to the world. And, although Infinity War's Battle of Wakanda took place in the technologically advanced nation, we still don't really know the impact that Wakanda's coming out has had on the rest of the world or Wakanda itself.
Killmonger wanted to wage war on the world using Wakanda's technological might, but now that Wakanda has revealed all, will other nations or parties attempt to take that might for their own? Wakanda could also face more domestic challenges as T'Challa's choices as king are bound to face scrutiny. After all, he allowed Wakanda to bear the brunt of Thanos' assault on Earth. Potential conflicts such as these, in addition to whatever new villain arises, are sure to make T'Challa's crown all the heavier.
Who Is The Villain In Black Panther 2?
Killmonger's death in the first film means that Black Panther 2 will need a new villain for T'Challa to contend with, and whomever it is they'll have some massive shoes to fill. Black Panther's post-credits scenes didn't set up villains for the sequel, so we are left to speculate about who it will be and there are several good options.
Black Panther is interesting in that he has villains that are physical, mystical and extraterrestrial. Achebe is a Black Panther villain who sold his soul to the devil, and while he is not much of a physical threat, he is a truly deranged master manipulator. Black Panther 2 could also take things more mystical and see T'Challa face off with Mephisto, the devil of the Marvel Universe who at one point tried to steal Black Panther's soul.
Another interesting option would be the Skrulls. The shape-shifting aliens will make their MCU debut in Captain Marvel, and that sets precedence for them being on Earth. In the Secret Invasion comics storyline, the Skrulls attempt to take over Wakanda as part of their attempt to subdue the planet. This option would continue to bring in the cosmic elements to all corners of the MCU. These are just a few of the options available, and, as we've seen, Marvel isn't afraid to mix things up and change villains from their comic origins.
It will obviously depend on what villain the story calls for, but two big stars have already had their names thrown about for the sequel. Kendrick Lamar, who curated the soundtrack for Black Panther, has said he wants to be Killmonger, which is probably not an option, but perhaps he could play another villain. Also, even though he has already appeared in the MCU in Spider-Man: Homecoming, it was reported that Ryan Coogler was looking at Donald Glover to play the villain in the sequel.
Last we saw T'Challa he was dust in the wind along with half of the rest of the universe thanks to Thanos having a strict interpretation of balance. However, given the existence of Black Panther 2, it's probably a pretty safe bet that Chadwick Boseman's warrior king will be back to once again ensure that Wakanda truly does endure forever.
The aftermath of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 will probably play a role in T'Challa's Black Panther 2 story; who knows how death might have changed him a la Jon Snow. T'Challa will likely also still be dealing with the struggles of leadership, as he bears the weight of a country on his back.
Black Panther essentially saw Wakanda in a state of civil war, and just because T'Challa won does not mean those wounds are healed. He also just opened the country up to the world and there's a possibility that not everyone is a fan of that. And, thanks to his dealings with the Avengers and revealing Wakanda to the United Nations, T'Challa now has something of a responsibility on a more global scale than he did before.
Chadwick Boseman's character will also have to address the fact that Killmonger burned the Heart-Shaped Herb. The Heart-Shaped Herb is the source of the Black Panther's power and how they access the ancestral plane, so it is possible that T'Challa will be cut off from his ancestors and this power if he cannot find a way to regrow it or discover more.
In Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger, née N'Jadaka, Black Panther gave us a complex and fascinating villain who is easily in the top three best villains in the decade-long history of the MCU. Killmonger was a ferocious villain full of righteous anger and with a real emotional arc. So, it was curious that the first film chose to kill him off at the end, even if it was done in memorable and heartbreaking fashion.
You would think that would be that, and Killmonger was a one and done villain like most in the MCU. However, there have been reports that Michael B. Jordan could reprise his role as the outcast Wakandan. The script hasn't been written yet so it's too early to say for sure whether or not this will happen, but there is a way to bring Michael B. Jordan and Killmonger back for Black Panther 2 without undoing or cheapening the poetic ending of the first film.
Killmonger could show up in the Ancestral Plane and speak with T'Challa there. N'Jadaka is T'Challa's cousin, so royal blood flows through his veins. He also briefly served as the Black Panther, undergoing the ceremony and visiting the Ancestral Plane himself.
This wouldn't be the first time in a film where a hero has found himself talking to a vanquished foe and this would provide a way for Black Panther 2 to bring back star Michael B. Jordan, who sounds up for returning, and his captivating villain in a manner that is interesting and true to the story.
Black Panther was full of fun new characters, but Letitia Wright's Shuri might be the fan favorite. T'Challa's little sister provided the brains, some brawn and more than a few laughs to Black Panther and audiences are eager to see more of her in the sequel. Thankfully, Kevin Feige has said we'll see much more of the character in the MCU.
One such theory imagines that Shuri survived the snap and takes over as ruler of Wakanda in T'Challa's stead in Avengers 4, even taking on the Black Panther mantle as she has briefly done in the comics. This could potentially create tension between the siblings when he returns, or a full on Black Panther team up.
She's funny, fierce and makes Bruce Banner and Tony Stark look like dummies by comparison. Whatever Black Panther 2 has in store for Shuri, it's a safe bet she'll have plenty to do and we'll get more hilarious one-liners from this scene-stealer.
As T'Challa's love interest and member of the War Dogs, Lupita Nyong'o's Nakia believed that Wakanda should do more to help those in need around the world. So, when T'Challa came around to her way of thinking at the end of Black Panther, and established the Wakandan International Outreach Centre, he appointed Nakia the head of the social outreach department.
Nakia didn't show up in Avengers: Infinity War but we've heard that she wasn't forgotten and there is a plan to return to her story. I would expect to see Lupita Nyong'o's character back in Black Panther 2.
Danai Gurira's Okoye has had brilliant showings in both Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, showing skill on the battlefield and a willingness to tell T'Challa what he doesn't want to hear. Okoye was torn between country and family in Black Panther and I imagine that film was not the last we'll see of Okoye interacting with her husband turned traitor, Daniel Kaluuya's W'Kabi.
The general of the Dora Milaje has proven how important Wakanda is to her and we saw the devastation on her face when T'Challa was snapped out of existence. Whatever challenges the Black Panther faces in the sequel, he should not have to face them alone.
An antagonist at the beginning of Black Panther, Winston Duke's M'Baku quickly endeared himself to audiences with his charisma and willingness to overlook past grievances to help the king and Wakanda. He once again proved himself a badass with a warrior spirit by taking on the Outriders in the Battle of Wakanda in Avengers: Infinity War.
He survived the snap; maybe by the time Black Panther 2 takes place M'Baku and the Jabari tribe will be playing an even greater role in Wakanda, having proved their loyalty to the crown.
While initially an obstacle to T'Challa, Martin Freeman's CIA operative Everett Ross proved a worthy ally over the course of the first film. Black Panther could be just the beginning for Everett Ross' dealings with Wakanda.
In the comics, Everett Ross is a true friend and trusted ally to Wakanda and T'Challa specifically, so much so that he is appointed Regent of Wakanda. He is also T'Challa's ally in his battles against Mephisto, Kraven the Hunter and other villains. Hopefully this unlikely friendship continues and grows in Black Panther 2, as Everett Ross is a major part of the Black Panther story.