Black Panther 2 has officially been unveiled at the D23 Expo. Director Ryan Coogler will be returning to Wakanda along with the majority of the original’s critically praised cast and it’ll hit cinemas on May 6th, 2022.
This news doesn’t come as much of a surprise, of course, as a Black Panther sequel was inevitable given that the first movie became the only superhero film to date to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. The fact that it also made $1.3 billion at the box office certainly didn’t hurt matters, either.
While it’s too far out to be speculating on the specifics of the plot, most debate about the film currently focuses on whether Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger will return. Given that the end of Black Panther saw him die whilst refusing the life-saving Wakandan medical technology and making a moving speech about respecting his ancestors, you might think that he’s gone for good. But over the last few months, we’ve heard indications that he may indeed return, perhaps as a flashback or in a dream sequence. After all, as a genuine member of the Wakandan royal family, he should have access to the Wakandan premium afterlife we saw in T’Challa’s vision in the first movie.
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One person whose return is confirmed is CIA Agent Everett Ross, as played by Martin Freeman. While the prominence of a CIA agent involved in an African country’s succession crisis raised more than a few eyebrows, he proved a pretty good viewpoint character as someone totally alien to the Wakandan way of life.
Still, 2022 is a ways off yet. If Black Panther 2 (that title is just a placeholder, by the way) is that far out, it could be the first Phase 5 release in the MCU, which may mean it’ll be dealing with a radically different status quo. While the current Phase 4 slate doesn’t indicate any universe-changing calamities (as we saw in Infinity War and Endgame), who knows what the general state of the MCU will be by then? Perhaps Wakanda might even be reconsidering its decision to reveal itself to the world?