Black Panther 2 has been something of a mystery for a while now but it’s, of course, under unfortunate and tragic circumstances. After the passing of star Chadwick Boseman, it wasn’t totally clear which direction the franchise would go and who would be leading the way. We don’t have more clarity on those things quite yet, but we are starting to get some news about the sequel. Movie Web is reporting that the title for the Black Panther 2 is, wait for it, Summer Break.
Now, if you are as thrown off as I was when first reading this title for the movie, know that you aren’t alone. Considering the nature of Wakanda, the placement of the movie within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the impending turnover to a new lead because of the passing of its former star, you’d have thought we’d be getting a much more somber and serious tone for a Black Panther 2 title. No one would have thought it was getting viewed as a summer frat-party romp with plenty of comedic hijinks like this title seems to let on.
But it’s worth it to note here, that though this is the title given to Black Panther 2 as part of its production notes, it’s almost definitely not what we land on when things are all said and done. Studios will often give films different names when they are in production to either keep the excitement under wraps or even to head fake some into thinking it’s a totally different film. This isn’t standard industry practice, but sometimes around massive productions or highly-anticipated films, there will be a little bit of studio panther and mouse so to speak. Jurassic World was Blue Harvest, Batman Returns was Binko, and Iron Man 2 was Rasputin for just some of the many examples.
So when the sequel finally hits, I don’t think we are going to get Black Panther 2: Summer Break (Wakanda goes to Daytona). It will almost assuredly (right?) have some other title that more seamlessly fits into the context of the franchise. The bigger question now, and this title sure doesn’t help to clear anything up, is where the franchise goes from here. Star Chadwick Boseman tragically lost his life over the summer in a battle with cancer and it rocked the industry. It also left this franchise without its charismatic, and frankly perfect, lead.
Rumors have abounded about who would pick up the adamantium-armored mantle for Black Panther 2. Early reports were that Letitia Wright’s Shuri would be the logical replacement. Her character was next up in line for the throne of Wakanda and the actress was solid in her Marvel Cinematic Universe roles so far. But she did come under fire for some controversial social media sharing and all’s been quiet on that front for some time.
There were also rumors that Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger could return to take over the franchise in Black Panther 2 though that seems unlikely considering how the first film ends, with him dying. Fortunately, comic book movies have found all different ways to make death less than permanent so anything is on the table.