Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s Winston Duke says the Ryan Coogler-directed sequel will be exploring Wakanda on a deeper level than the first film.
M’Baku actor Winston Duke promises that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will explore more of Wakanda. Like the majority of the original Black Panther cast, the actor is returning for the Ryan Coogler-directed sequel. Despite the tragic passing of leading man Chadwick Boseman, who played King T’Challa/Black Panther in the MCU, Marvel Studios decided to move forward with Wakanda Forever, using the film as a way to honor the legacy of the actor and his iconic character.
The first trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever debuted at San Diego Comic-Con 2022, offering viewers an idea about what to expect from the blockbuster. Aside from the Wakandans, Coogler’s next MCU film will also see the debut of the MCU’s underwater world, led by Tenoch Huerta’s Namor the Submariner. More footage was released during the recent D23 Expo that shows the political themes of Black Panther 2 as Wakanda moves forward without its king and Black Panther.
On the heels of Marvel Studios’ D23 Expo panel, Duke spoke to Marvel at the press line and discussed what fans can expect from his character in the Black Panther sequel. The actor also teased just how much is left to explore in the advanced country — something that Coogler will showcase in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Read Duke’s full answer below:
“[M’Baku] is no longer the insular leader, he’s learning how to move forward. So he has a very large, wide, macro lens as to what’s happening and I think we get to see more of that, and see how much that impacts him. What I’m most excited for fans to see is how much more Wakanda there is. There’s just so much more than the first movie, and that’s exciting.”
From the moment Marvel Studios announced the title for Black Panther 2, it was already clear that there will be a shift in focus in the film. Instead of being centered on the titular character, Coogler’s movie will take a wider approach, exploring the many pockets of Wakanda that the original film wasn’t able to do. 2018’s Black Panther did a great job with its world-building, introducing new places within the African kingdom and even establishing its culture and history. This time, Marvel Studios can do a deeper dive into those themes as Wakanda also grieves the death of its leader. It could showcase the resilience and strength of its people during this truly dark time, especially as they are also gearing up for a potential conflict with Namor and his people.
Overall, this creative route allows the MCU to respectfully deal with the passing of Boseman while also ensuring the future of the sub-franchise that he represented so effectively. By taking a wider storytelling approach, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever gives many characters their time in the spotlight as they come together amidst a string of national crises. If anything, the events of the sequel could even effectively set up the inevitable Black Panther 3.