Warning: Spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to follow.
It may have been the conclusion of Phase Four, but Black Panther: Wakanda Forever felt like just the beginning for a brand-new era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe; with the Talokan standing by and preparing for a vibranium-backed bloodbath, the power dynamics of Wakanda having shifted enormously, and one Valentina Allegra de Fontaine seemingly in the midst of a federal powercreep, Wakanda Forever undoubtedly cracked the future of the MCU wide open.
With the film boasting many big names amongst its survivors — many of them in very different places from where they began — fans will be eager to see where their stories will go next, and Wakanda Forever producer Nate Moore was all too happy to tease what they might entail.
In an interview with /Film, Moore couldn’t help but highlight most all the members of Wakanda Forever‘s ensemble, including Shuri, M’Baku, Okoye, Everett Ross, and Riri Williams. He gave special nods to the first two, however, with Shuri having donned the Black Panther mantle, albeit with the historic distinction of not also laying claim to the throne. M’Baku, meanwhile, is now filling the aforementioned space as the king of Wakanda.
“I think Shuri is in a really interesting place now as the new Black Panther but divorced from having to rule a kingdom. That’s interesting, because there hasn’t been a Panther who’s been able to do that in a while. Obviously M’Baku takes on a new significance now in a way that’s fun. If you think about where he started in the first “Black Panther” to where maybe he can go now, is really cool.”
He would also go on to highlight Riri Williams, who we know will be returning to MIT a very different person than she was previously.
“And Riri Williams, who’s just gone through this experience that has pulled her out of a life that, even though she was clearly an incredibly smart person at MIT, has now had this crazy experience — she’s seen an underwater kingdom, she’s been to Wakanda, she’s flown in and created an incredible mech suit. What happens to her when you plop her back into the regular world?”
With Ironheart set to debut around this time next year and a Wakanda-centric Disney Plus series in the works, it’s nice to know that whatever the writers are cooking up for Wakanda’s champions isn’t something we’ll have to wait terribly long for. It also won’t be much of a surprise if Everett Ross comes back for the Thunderbolts film, and as for Okoye, the Midnight Angels happen to have comic book ties with Deadpool, who will be making his MCU debut in Deadpool 3 come November 2024. Bottom line; anything is possible.