T’Challa, played by the late Chadwick Boseman, is honored in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever since his sister Shuri assumed the role of the Black Panther to continue his legacy. Letitia Wright, who plays Shuri, claims that Marvel Studios originally intended to release both Black Panther films simultaneously rather than one after the other.
Wright stated Marvel’s initial plan during an interview with the Empire Podcast, playing on the tight relationship between the brother and sister combination, was for T’Challa and Shuri to jointly act as the Black Panther in the sequel to protect their native Wakanda. When asked how it felt to don the Black Panther costume for the first time, the British-Guyanese actor said that Shuri was up for the task. Wright remarked, “It was bittersweet. “Shuri was bound to carry it out. To truly explore that, as in the comic books, T’Challa and Shuri would be Black Panther alongside one another as they tried to figure out how to protect their country, it was going to be done in a new way where her brother would be with her.”
Wright also discussed the emotional burden she felt taking on the role of the next Black Panther and carrying on T’Challa’s legacy. She had a hard time adjusting initially, but she was pleased with the outcome. I understood my responsibilities and the weight of the situation, but it was still difficult for her. However, I’m pretty proud of myself and had much support.
The Enduring Impact of Black Panther
When Boseman unexpectedly passed away from colon cancer in August 2020, Wright and her fellow cast members found it extremely difficult to perform in Wakanda Forever. According to rumors, T’Challa’s sorrow over what happened in Avengers: Endgame was a major theme in the first draught of the Black Panther sequel script. In response to a real-life tragedy, filmmaker Ryan Coogler and his crew changed the script to concentrate mostly on Shuri and her family’s response to T’Challa’s passing. As she oversaw the fictitious West African country’s defense against Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and his Talokan soldiers as well as American spies in search of vibranium, Shuri assumed the role of the Black Panther.
Wakanda Forever opened with Shuri’s futile attempts to save her brother’s life after he got a secret sickness to explain T’Challa’s absence. The movie pays respect to Boseman and T’Challa in a variety of ways, including through a ceremony held in his honor and a post-credits scene in which Shuri recalls memorable times she shared with her late brother.
Wakanda Forever, like its predecessor, has been a movie office success, earning over $810 million globally as of this writing. Along with Winston Duke, Dominique Thorne, Danai Gurira, and Angela Bassett, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance, the movie also stars Angela Bassett.
Wakanda Forever is now in cinemas; the Disney+ release is scheduled for 2023.