Marvel Studios has unveiled a new set of character posters for the upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. A direct sequel to 2018’s smash hit Black Panther, Wakanda Forever will arrive in theaters worldwide next month, and is poised to become one of the year’s biggest hits.
The first Black Panther film popularized the concept of Afro-futurism with its breathtakingly detailed designs of the hermit kingdom of Wakanda. Directed by Ryan Coogler, the film ended up doing phenomenal business at the box office, and earned seven Academy Award nominations, including Marvel’s first in the Best Picture category. It eventually won three Oscars — for Best Costume Design, Best Production Design and Best Original Score.
The new character posters appear to embrace the visual style of the first film, which honored African culture but also gave it a thrilling edge. The rather somber-looking new posters feature Letitia Wright as Shuri, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Winston Duke as M’Baku, Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams/Ironheart, Florence Kasumba as Ayo, Michaela Coel as Aneka, Angela Bassett as Queen Mother Ramonda, Mabel Cadena as Namora, Alex Livinalli as Attuma, Martin Freeman as Everett Ross, and Tenoch Huerta as the villainous Namor.
The arrival of Namor, the subaquatic king of Talokan, facilitates the introduction of an entirely new set of characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is the first time that fans will see characters such as the warrior Attuma and Namor’s cousin Namora in the MCU. In contrast to the rooted Afro-futurist design style of the older character, the appearances of the film’s Talokan characters is inspired by Mesoamerican culture, defined by large headgear and accessories. Huerta even learned a Mayan language for the role. Wakanda Forever will also serve as the MCU debut of Ironheart, before the character gets her own Disney+ series next year. Ironheart got a cool moment to herself in the recently released second trailer.
Coogler and his entire crew were faced with the almost impossible task of proceeding with the film after star Chadwick Boseman’s passing. The filmmaker ultimately decided to rework the story into a tribute to not just King T’Challa, but also the beloved Boseman. Coogler told Entertainment Weekly recently that he struggled with Boseman’s death so badly that he almost quit the film business. “I didn’t know if I could make another movie period, [let alone] another Black Panther movie, because it hurt a lot. I was like, ‘Man, how could I open myself up to feeling like this again?’” he said.
But he persevered through the pain, and fans are confident that the director will have made a film worthy of carrying forward Boseman’s legacy. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said that it was “much too soon” to consider recasting the role, as the world is still processing Boseman’s death. The actor died of colon cancer in 2020, after privately battling the illness for four years. He received a posthumous Oscar nomination for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, but didn’t win despite being the favorite.
Wakanda Forever is the year’s third MCU film, after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder. Both films received so-so reactions from fans and critics, although Doctor Strange 2 ended up doing significantly better at the box office. Wakanda Forever is slated for a November 11 release. You can watch the film’s trailer here, and get a better look at the character posters down below.