There was a mixture of joy and surprise when it was confirmed late last week that the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Black Panther 2 was set to start shooting in July 2021, after a lot of people were expecting the production to be delayed for much longer. The Wakandan sequel was originally scheduled to kick off filming next March until the tragic passing of leading man Chadwick Boseman, who was even gearing up for training to get back into superhero shape before losing his four-year battle with colon cancer.
When the follow-up to one of the most culturally important blockbusters of the modern era was first announced, it was slapped with a July 2022 release date for good measure, although it seems very unlikely that Black Panther 2 will still make it to theaters by then given the incredibly quick turnaround time that would require, not to mention the entire project having to be reworked from almost the ground up following Boseman’s death.
Of course, the news also came with the unsurprising reveal that Letitia Wright’s Shuri would have a much bigger role the second time around, which went down very well with fans. After all, the long game has always been for T’Challa’s sister to inherit the mantle of Black Panther, but the current circumstances will now see it happen a lot quicker than anyone could have anticipated or hoped.
However, the latest report from insider Grace Randolph claims that a male contender – quite possibly Winston Duke’s M’Baku – will also throw their hat into the ring to step up as T’Challa’s successor, meaning that for at least part of Black Panther 2, there are set to be two characters competing for the title. Shuri will have to demonstrate that she’s a worthy heir, then, and the driving force of the narrative could very well follow her attempting to prove herself capable of living up to the monumental legacy that her brother left behind.