Black Panther’s Letitia Wright Responds To The Idea Of Shuri Taking On The Mantle In Wakanda Forever

Letitia Wright as Shuri in Avengers: Infinity War
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Marvel Cinematic Universe fans will soon be making their return to Wakanda, as the highly anticipated Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be with us in less than two months. Of course, things are changing in this corner of the MCU due to the passing of T’Challa actor Chadwick Boseman. In the aftermath though, it looks like another character will take on the mantle of the titular hero. A number of fans assume that Letitia Wright’s Shuri will be the one to do it, and the actress has provided some thoughts on that proposed development. 

Details on Wakanda Forever have been kept close to the vest for some time now and, even after the trailer for the Black Panther sequel dropped at SDCC in July, we were left with more questions. Of course, the biggest is who was wearing that panther suit at the tail end of the sweet trailer. When asked about Shuri possibly being the one to don the suit, Letitia Wright remained guarded. Though she provided an interesting behind-the-scenes fact from the 2018 film that may get fans’ brains churning:

That’s a tricky question to answer. I had a chat about it with Ryan and Chad when we were making Black Panther, and we touched on it briefly. When I realized I was playing Shuri, it was something that I really looked forward to.

So while the 28-year-old actress’ recent interview with Empire Magazine didn’t reveal anything in regard to who’ll become T’Challa’s superhero successor, there are two things to be gleaned from it. The first is that she, Ryan Cooger and Chadwick Boseman, at the very least, touched on the fact that in the comics, Shuri does take on the mantle. The second interesting point here is that the Small Axe alum does seem interested in the concept. Still, the tech savvy princess is just one of several capable candidates.

Some have also thrown Winston Duke’s M’Baku, the charismatic leader of the Jabari Tribe, into the mix. Others would say that Wakandan War Dog Nakia, played by Lupita Nyong’o, would be a fit for the moniker as well. While speculation is still running rampant, a piece of Wakanda Forever merchandise may have revealed the identity of the new panther. Despite any alleged leaks though, don’t expect anyone from Marvel Studios to confirm or deny anything. 

Regardless of whether she fills her brother’s shoes in Ryan Coogler’s sequel though, Letitia Wright’s character will have a lot of other things going on. The actress previously stated that Shuri will attempt to cope with T’Challa’s death by throwing herself into her work. Of course, there’s also the arrival of Tenoch Huerta’s Namor and the debut of Dominique Thorne’s Riri Williams, who becomes the hero Ironheart

There’s definitely a lot to be excited about when it comes to the sequel, though I’m sure the identity of the new Black Panther will continue to be the big thing on most people’s minds. Though there’s still a lot of uncertainty, what can be said is that Ryan Coogler, Marvel’s Kevin Feige and co. likely put a lot of thought into choosing who’d succeed Chadwick Boseman, whose work Letitia Wright is aiming to honor.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens in theaters on November 11 and is one of many upcoming Marvel movies on the docket. If you need a refresher before its release, stream the first film using a Disney+ subscription.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.