Black Panther 3
With Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in the books, it’s not too early to start looking ahead to Black Panther 3. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has no shortage of films and series, but their biggest properties and characters are set to roll on into the future. That’s the case here with the folks from Wakanda.
When actor Chadwick Boseman suddenly passed away from colon cancer in 2020, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe weren’t sure what would happen to his most famous character, Black Panther. 2018’s Black Panther grossed over $1.3 billion at the global box office upon its release, and it was highly expected to launch at least one sequel as a result.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever finally saw the light of day when it debuted theatrically this year to the tune of $806 million at the box office so far.
Here is all we know about Black Panther 3, including a reprisal of characters, spin-offs coming to Disney+, and what the franchise’s future means for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
MARVEL HAS ALREADY TEASED A BLACK PANTHER 3
During the end credits of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Marvel Studios and Disney teased fans by saying that “Black Panther will return.” It was a surefire way of noting the franchise will continue to another installment with Letitia Wright’s character of Shuri occupying the Black Panther suit.
With new characters like Namor and Ironheart introduced to viewers in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and established characters like Angela Bassett’s Queen Ramonda taking their last breath, audiences might wonder what a potential Black Panther 3 will look like.
BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER CONCLUDED MARVEL’S PHASE FOUR
The Marvel Cinematic Universe finally concluded its Phase Four approach with the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in theaters, as well as The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special on Disney+. It made way for Phase Five to begin in early 2023.
Several characters have seen their days numbered in the MCU for now, including Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, and Angela Bassett’s Ramonda. While there never seems to be finality to characters in the world of Marvel, and they can always come back in some form or another, future projects will likely not have these characters in them for the time being.
This brings audiences to Black Panther 3, another sequel possibly coming to the growing franchise. The third installment has yet to be confirmed by Marvel Studios or Disney, but there will be some form of the Black Panther character involved in future content for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whether that be in a standalone sequel or part of another character’s project.
Phase Five and Phase Six have already gotten the green light. The premise of Marvel’s film and television shows in these phases is seemingly focused on continuing the storylines of Kang the Conquerer, played by actor Jonathan Majors.
Introduced in the finale of Loki on Disney+, Jonathan Majors will reprise his role as “He Who Remains” or Kang the Conquerer in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, in addition to 2025’s Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.
Characters from the Black Panther franchise will likely make their way into some of these projects. While Black Panther 3 has not been included in Phase Five or Six, it might debut in future phases if the demand is there from audiences.
LETITIA WRIGHT’S SHURI IS THE NEW BLACK PANTHER
Since the death of Chadwick Boseman prompted Marvel Studios to rethink Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, writer and director Ryan Coogler had to make tough decisions about the character. He ultimately landed on making the sequel about grief.
Losing Boseman, and ultimately the character of T’Challa, served as a way to promote actor Letitia Wright into becoming Black Panther by the film’s end. Similar to the comic book representation of her character, Shuri, Wright stepped into the central role in order to offer a peaceful transition and to stop the advances of a new threat from Namor (Tenoch Huerta).
If Black Panther 3 comes to fruition, it would be up to Letitia Wright to carry the character into a new installment. The death of Angela Bassett’s Ramonda opens some doors for the female-led franchise, including making Danai Gurira’s Okoye and Michaela Coel’s Aneka more principal characters in the future.
Audiences should expect to see more of these three characters if Black Panther 3 ends up filming in the next few years. Additionally, government agents Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) and Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) don’t seem to be leaving the Marvel Cinematic Universe anytime soon. They could return as well.
LETITIA WRIGHT HAS HAD PAST CONTROVERSY
Because Black Panther 3 hinges on the popularity of its central figure, Letitia Wright will likely continue to be under the microscope of media scrutiny.
The Guyanese-British performer first started her stint in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2018’s Black Panther. She later gained a significant social media following due to her controversial concerns over COVID-19 vaccines. Plus, she made comments in 2020, via Twitter, about China’s role in the pandemic.
After receiving backlash for sharing a COVID-19-related YouTube video from the Light London Church on Twitter, Wright clarified her positions in a piece via BBC News.
The actor noted that her “intention was not to hurt anyone…” She went on to say, “my ONLY intention of posting the video was it raised my concerns with what the vaccine contains and what we are putting in our bodies.”
Wright has since deleted her social media posts and no longer posts anything related to COVID-19 on Twitter. This newer move comes after a short time when she had removed her social media accounts altogether.
However, in the run-up to promoting Black Panther: Wakanda Forever this year, The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg tied Letitia Wright and other celebrities together in a piece about personal baggage during awards season.
Feinberg’s article sparked anger from Wright towards the publication as they grouped her with men who have been accused of sexual misconduct. The actor has attempted to distance herself from those that have been noted as having bad behavior on sets. She is currently trying to press the reset button on her career in order to continue playing Shuri for Marvel.
OTHER CHARACTERS HAVE A FUTURE IN THE MCU
The future of the Black Panther franchise might not just include Black Panther 3, as Disney+ may have a hand in delivering more storylines for Black Panther characters to share continuity across multiple projects.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever introduced audiences to the character of Riri Williams, effortlessly played by Dominque Thorne. Williams transforms into the superhero known as Ironheart. According to a report by CinemaBlend, Disney+ has greenlit a television series revolving around Williams, entitled Ironheart.
Ironheart will premiere in late 2023 as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Five.
Filming on Ironheart has already concluded in Atlanta, Georgia, and Dominique Thorne will star alongside Anthony Ramos, who will take on the supervillain character of The Hood. Other MCU actors will join the series, including Jim Rash as Dean of MIT like he was in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. The series is supposed to be a sequel spin-off of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but events taking place in the show’s first season may connect directly to a probable Black Panther 3.
In addition to Riri Williams, audiences got the chance to meet Namor in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the sexy feathered serpent who is the King of an underwater city named Talokan. Labeled as the villain of the second installment in the Black Panther franchise, Shuri and Namor come to a peaceful conclusion in the film’s closing battle sequences. It is assumed that Namor will become a valuable ally to the people of Wakanda in the future.
Huerta’s performance as Namor has been well-regarded since the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and the character will likely see more screen time in some manner in the future.
Finally, Angela Bassett had to say goodbye to her character of Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, with the people of Wakanda suffering a significant blow in grieving T’Challa and Ramonda’s deaths back-to-back.
Bassett has been receiving some of the best praise of her career for her performance in the sequel, having so far garnered nominations for Best Supporting Actress from the Golden Globe Awards, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Critics Choice Association.
If Black Panther 3 becomes a reality, it is likely that Angela Bassett will return in some fashion. This could happen through a dream sequence or flashback, similar to Michael B. Jordan’s reprisal of Killmonger in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
BLACK PANTHER 3 DOES NOT HAVE A CONFIRMED RELEASE DATE
As Black Panther 3 has yet to be greenlit by Marvel Studios and Disney, there is no telling exactly when the movie will start filming. Though much of the cast would seemingly be on board to make another sequel in the franchise, Marvel has only so far announced plans for films and television shows to premiere through 2026.
If Black Panther 3 comes onto Marvel’s agenda, it would most likely be after 2026, and will probably debut in movie theaters like its predecessors, rather than go directly to streaming on Disney+.
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