‘Black Panther’ was the highest-grossing solo Marvel Studios film, so a huge number of fans are chomping at the bit for a sequel. Unfortunately, we’re all in for a wait. ‘Black Panther 2’ was not among the pictures announced at San Diego Comic-Con, which outlined the studio’s output for 2020-21. However, director Ryan Coogler did appear at the D23 Expo to announce that the sequel will arrive on May 6, 2022.
That means that ‘Black Panther 2’ probably won’t begin filming until 2021. During a cover story for the Wall Street Journal, Disney CEO Bob Iger stated that Coogler was “just beginning the process of outlining the story.” Coogler co-wrote the screenplay for the first with Joe Robert Cole, but so far, it is believed that Coogler will be tackling the sequel alone.
Obviously, Chadwick Boseman will reprise the role of the titular hero/king. Martin Freeman (Everett K. Ross) and Danai Gurira (Okoye) have stated that they believe that they are returning. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has denied that Michael B. Jordan will be back. Of course, his character, T’Challa’s cousin Erik Stevens/Killmonger died in the first, so it didn’t really make sense that he’d be back in the first place. But Jordan is a popular actor, and Killmonger was one of the more successful Marvel screen villains, so it makes sense that fans want to see more.
It’s safe to assume that ‘Black Panther 2’ will welcome back Angela Bassett as Queen Mother Ramonda, Winston Duke as M’Baku, Forest Whitaker as Zuri, and Letitia Wright as Shuri. It’s also possible that Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia and Daniel Kaluuya’s W’Kabi could be back.
There is buzz that ‘Black Panther 2’ could be used to introduce the cinematic version of Namor the Sub-Mariner, which many believe was teased in ‘Avengers: Endgame’, when Okoye reported to Black Widow regarding an underwater earthquake off the coast of Africa. For the time being, though, that remains speculation and wishful thinking.
Scott Derrickson, director of ‘Doctor Strange’, has actually teased the inclusion of Namor in his upcoming sequel, ‘Doctor Strange in the Madness of the Multiverse’. But Kevin Feige has stated in the past that the film rights to Namor are not “clean or clear,” much like those of the Hulk. As he stated last year, “I think there’s a way to probably figure it out but it does have — it’s not as clean or clear as the majority of the other characters.”
‘Black Panther’ was the first comic book movie to be nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award, so it holds a rare position of prestige in the genre. While Disney has two full years of plans for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, some are most looking forward to May 6, 2022, when ‘Black Panther 2’ arrives.