In the new trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the people of Wakanda are still suffering over the murder of their king T’Challa and confront a new threat from a feathered serpent deity. Although technically The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, set for release in December on Disney+, will be the formal conclusion, this film serves as the capstone to Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
According to prior reports, the production of Wakanda Forever had already begun by the time Chadwick Boseman, who played T’Challa in Black Panther (2018), died in August 2020 from colon cancer. Many people, including director Ryan Coogler and Marvel’s Kevin Feige, were caught off guard by Boseman’s illness. Most of the key cast members are returning, although they chose against recasting T’Challa or adding him with CGI. The completed film is thus an homage to Boseman in many respects.
Lots of people you know pop up in Wakanda Forever. Consistent with the accepted theory, “Following King T’Challa’s death, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and the Dora Milaje (featuring Florence Kasumba) battle to safeguard their nation from outside intervention. War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) help the heroes work together to pave a new road for the kingdom of Wakanda as the Wakandans prepare to enter their next chapter.”
King Namor (Tenoch Huerta) of the aquatic people of Talokan is one of the new characters (previously assumed by many to be Atlantis). Both Shuri, who assumes the mantle in the books (though this has not been confirmed) and Riri Williams, aka Ironheart (Dominique Thorne), a teenage tech genius and a protege of Tony Stark (also from the comics), will make their big screen debuts in this picture. (In the upcoming Ironheart series on Disney+, Thorne will also play the role of Riri.) Mabel Cadena will play Namor’s cousin Namora, and Alex Livinalli will play the Talocan warrior Attuma; returning to their roles as Wakandan elders are Isaach de Bankolé, Dorothy Steel, and Danny Sapani.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s first teaser, which aired at Comic-Con in July, was a sombre, elegiac trailer that, in our opinion, perfectly portrayed the pain and sense of loss caused by T’Challa’s death (and Chadwick Boseman). Even more recent film demonstrating the far-reaching effects, notably the political repercussions, was shown at last month’s D23 Expo.
T’Challa, the Black Panther, finally tells the assembled United Nations representatives about Wakanda and its abundant vibranium riches at the film’s climax. The footage began with Queen Ramonda defending the concealment of Wakanda’s treasures before an enraged United Nations. Scenes of a military invasion of a vibranium plant, which was thwarted by Okoye and her Dora Milaje allies, were intercut with this. The last clip focused on Talokan and Namor, who were afraid that T’Challa’s major announcement had put his own territory in danger.
Beginning with T’Challa’s burial, the new trailer cuts to views of Talokan, with a brief voiceover from Namor saying, “Only the most broken people can be great leaders.” M’Baku, whose mountain people are no longer cut off from the rest of Wakanda, tells us that Namor is more than just a military leader to the Wakandans “He is worshipped as K’uk’ulkan, the God of Feathers and Serpents. Any attempt to eliminate him will inevitably lead to an endless battle.” Namor looks hellbent on conquering the surface world now that he thinks Wakanda is defenceless without T’Challa.
This almost certainly implies war with Wakanda, and there will be lots of exciting developments on that front. Several scenes depict Namor soaring in the air on his winged ankles, while Wakanda gathers its formidable forces to counter the impending danger. Riri is seen putting the finishing touches on her Ironheart outfit before taking to the air (“Let’s go!”). At the very end of the trailer, we get a tantalising glimpse of the new Black Panther, who has a very feminine profile.