Marvel Studios has yet to officially confirm a Black Panther 2, or even a longer sequel – but it looks like a return to Wakanda is definitely on the cards. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly this week, Marvel president Kevin Feige said: “[There’s] nothing specific to reveal, other than to say we absolutely will do that [a Black Panther 2]. One of the favorite pastimes at Marvel Studios is sitting around on a Part One and talking and dreaming about what we would do in a Part Two.” He added: “We have ideas and a pretty solid direction on where we want to head with the second one”. In another interview with Variety, Feige, when asked if Ryan Coogler would come back to direct, responded: “I hope so”, adding that he “absolutely” wants the director to return.
This, combined with the fact that Black Panther has been smashing records at the box office – the movie grossed $404 million worldwide in its first weekend alone, making it the highest opening February film of all time – suggests that a second film (and potentially more) is on the cards.
Who would be in it?
Probably most of the key characters we’ve seen in the first film, like T’Challa as Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), whose love story is likely to continue with Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o). Also likely to appear are Shuri (Letitia Wright), Okoye (Danai Gurira), Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman), W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya), and Ayo (Florence Kasumba).
What plot would a sequel explore?
Speaking to Screen Rant earlier this month, director Ryan Coogler has said that a potential sequel could explore the differences between T’Challa’s kingship on screen and in the comic books. This is because, in the comic books, T’Challa’s father is killed when he is very young – whereas in the film he is much older. Coogler explained: “So, you know, in the [books] he was kind of a guy who was a child king, you know? He got his throne when he was very young. So when you meet him you know you dealing with a guy who’s 34 years old, who’s been king for a long time.” The director then highlighted how this differed to the movie. “In our film that character is just settling in,” he said. “So I’d be really interested to see, you know, what kind of king he is with experience and how that affects his performance in the stories.”
What do the comic books say could happen?
As we have already seen, it’s likely that Marvel will put its own spin on the storylines portrayed in the comic books. Still, the comics are likely to form the basis for future films, offering a plethora of potential plots – and so are a good indication of what might happen. As in the comics, Shuri could become Queen of Wakanda – even being given the ‘Black Panther’ title when T’Challa goes to New York – while Nakia could have a brief spell as a villain.
Who is the post-credits “White Wolf”?
There is also a suggestion that Bucky Barnes (or the Winter Soldier), who appears in the post-credits scene of the movie, could become become the White Wolf character depicted in the comic. This is hinted in the film when some Wakandan children refer to Barnes as “the White Wolf”. In the comic books, the White Wolf is a white child adopted by T’Challa, who goes on to lead the War Dogs from Wakanda on various global expeditions.
Could there be an LGBTQ+ romance?
Marvel has already come under fire after it failed to include a relationship between Okoye and fellow Dora Milaje warrior Ayo. This is because, according to Vanity Fair, a rough cut of the film showed Okoye staring “flirtatiously” at Ayo – however, this scene did not make the final cut and a Marvel spokesperson said that the relationship between the pair was not romantic. Still, in the comic books Ayo has a same-sex relationship with a woman called Aneka, who isn’t in the film. And, in an interview with Screen Crush, the film’s screenwriter Joe Robert Cole, when asked if a gay relationship had been considered in the film, responded: “I think the short answer is yes. I know that there were quite a few conversations around different things, different directions with different characters, and characters that we may have. We thought, ‘Well, maybe we’ll work it this way with an arc or work it that way with an arc.’”
Marvel has yet to release a film portraying a LGBTQ+ romance. So could this be Marvel’s moment? If Okoye broke off her hinted romance with W’Kabi, could we see her getting together with Ayo? Or, could Aneka appear as a new character?
When would a Black Panther 2 be released?
Looking at the time periods between previous Marvel films, it looks like a second Black Panther film could be released in about three years’ time. This is because the film studio generally leaves regular gaps between sequels – the release dates of sequels to The Avengers and Ant-Man have both been set at three-year intervals. On this basis, a return to Wakanda could hit our screens by 2021, probably as part of ‘Marvel Phase Four‘.