Wakanda Forever: Honoring The Black Panther

Bram Lieberman ‘25, Contributing Writer

“Wakanda Forever”–the words that came out of moviegoers’ mouths as they left the theater after watching Marvel Studios’ Black Panther. The original movie, released in 2018, grossed over $1.34 billion at the box office, and was nominated for seven Oscars, winning Best Costume Design, Best Original Soundtrack and Best Production Design. As a result of the film’s international success, a sequel was most certainly coming, and it was only a matter of time before it was announced. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever releases Friday, November 11. The anticipation for the upcoming film is palpable, and many people are anxiously awaiting the return of the Black Panther.

Tragically, in the summer of 2020, actor Chadwick Boseman, who portrayed King T’Challa in the 2018 film, passed away from colon cancer. His loss was felt throughout the world as co-stars, celebrities, and countless others voiced their love of the renowned actor.

In an interview with CBS News, Ryan Coogler, the director of the critically acclaimed 2018 film and who is returning for the sequel said this regarding Boseman’s death: “I was grieving him as a friend, grieving my lead actor and creative partner, but also grieving all of these ideas that we had poured ourselves into.”

This presented a uniquely difficult challenge for the highly anticipated sequel; Who will be the next Black Panther? Will there even be a sequel? How will they address Boseman’s passing?

Coogler said that his experience working on the film was far more emotional than he expected: “It felt final in a way I didn’t expect. But I mean at the same time, I know we put our all into it. I think it’s a movie that he would enjoy.”

At Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s premiere in Los Angeles, California, Letitia Wright who plays T’Challa’s younger sister, Shuri, made a heartfelt tribute to Boseman. She adorned a black suit with silver linings down the shoulder area, similar to that of Boseman’s suit at the 2018 premiere of Black Panther. Wright’s character will also be taking up the mantle as the new Black Panther.

Early reactions of the film have been largely positive, with the rotten tomato score sitting at a strong 86%.

The highly anticipated Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, releases worldwide Friday, November 11.