Audiences are officially (and very tentatively!) headed back to movie theaters, and Marvel is here to remind us it has a whole boat-load of movies waiting in the wings for whenever you’re ready. The studio just dropped a new hype package that not only revealed the first footage of Chloe Zhao‘s Eternals, but also snuck in the official title for Ryan Coogler‘s sequel to Black Panther. The title: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Of course, the official title is a bit of a tearjerker, with the shadow of Chadwick Boseman‘s tragic passing hanging over production. Boseman portrayed the title hero across four films, and castmembers have commented on the emotional toll returning to work without him has taken. Here’s what Lupita Nyong’o said recently:
“People will ask me, ‘Are you excited to go back?’ Excitement isn’t the word. I feel like I’m in a very pensive and meditative state when it comes to Black Panther 2. His passing is still extremely raw for me. And I can’t even begin to imagine what it will be like to step on set and not have him there.”
Martin Freeman, who recently confirmed the return of his character, Everett Ross, also spoke to the way Coogler has so carefully reshaped the story of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to honor Boseman:
“…we have a leader in Ryan, who feels very much like we do, who feels the loss in a very, very real way as well. And his idea, the way which he has reshaped the second movie is so respectful of the loss we’ve all experienced as a cast and as a world. So it feels spiritually and emotionally correct to do this. And hopefully, what I do look forward to, is getting back together and honoring what he started with us and holding his light through it. Because he left us a lot of light that we’re still going to be bathing in. I know that for sure.”
Check out Marvel‘s video below. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to hit theaters on July 8, 2022.