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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — release date, cast and everything we know about the Marvel movie

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever poster
(Image credit: Marvel)

While just about all Marvel movies are major, tentpole events, there is something different about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The original Black Panther was not only a box-office behemoth and the first superhero movie to earn an Oscar Best Picture nomination, but it became a true cultural phenomenon. All of that makes the long-awaited Black Panther sequel that much more exciting.

With Marvel’s 2022 is already plenty stuffed with Moon Knight, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Ms. Marvel, Thor: Love and Thunder and more, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to be the proverbial cherry on top. But can it have the same success as the first movie?

While we are forced to wait to get an answer to that question, here is everything you need to know about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

When is the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever release date?

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever releases in movie theaters on November 11. This makes it the third new Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to come out in 2022, following Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 6 and Thor: Love and Thunder on July 8.

That July 8 release date was originally supposed to be for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but Disney shuffled a number of release dates around back in fall 2021, which moved Black Panther to its new November date (originally occupied by The Marvels, which is now expected in 2023).

What is the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever plot?

Not surprisingly, Marvel has been characteristically tight-lipped about any plot details in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, as no official logline has been released as of yet. However, we can give you a brief recap of when we last saw these characters. Obligatory SPOILER ALERT.

In 2018’s Black Panther, after defeating Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) decided to open up Wakanda to the rest of the world. This in part led to the event of Avengers: Infinity War, where Wakanda served as the battleground for Earth’s heroes and Thanos forces. Famously, Earth’s mightiest heroes would lose that battle as Thanos wiped out half of the universe’s population, which included T’Challa and Shuri (Letita Wright).

In Avengers: Endgame, Okoye (Danai Gurira) is the de facto leader of Wakanda. We don’t see much of her, though she mentions that there are earthquakes at the bottom of the ocean that she is paying attention to. When the Avengers get their rematch with Thanos, their plan works to bring back everyone that was snapped away in the previous movie, including T’Challa and Shuri. The last we saw the main Black Panther characters was celebrating Earth’s victory at the end of that movie.

This means that the plot and potential villain of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever can go just about anywhere (though fans have theories (opens in new tab) about the underwater earthquakes Okoye was talking about). What we can presume is that part of the story will deal with someone else taking over the mantle of Black Panther following Chadwick Boseman’s death in 2020.

Who is the next Black Panther?

Because of Boseman’s tragic passing, someone else must suit up as the titular hero in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. So who will it be?

As of right now, all we have are rumors. Letita Wright’s Shuri and Winston Duke’s M’Baku have been seen as the two favorites, though Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia could also be a potential successor. Until we get the first bit of footage or Marvel makes an official announcement, we’ll just have to keep playing the guessing game.

Who is in the Black Panther: Wakanda cast?

Many of the original Black Panther cast are back for the sequel. This includes the previously mentioned Letita Wright, Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira. Other familiar faces set to appear are Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda and Florence Kasumba as Ayo. Some leaks also appear to confirm that Daniel Kaluuya’s W’Kabi (opens in new tab) is also returning to the franchise.

Meanwhile, there are some exciting new members of the Black Panther cast, particularly Tenoch Huerta and Michaela Cole. Huerta is probably best known for his role in Narcos: Mexico, while Cole is an award-winning actor and creator for the series I May Destroy You. It is not clear at this time what role either are playing.

Who is the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director?

Ryan Coogler, who directed the first Black Panther, is returning to the franchise to helm Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which he also wrote.

Coogler’s previous directing credits includes Fruitvale Station and Creed, but he has also been active as a producer. He was part of the producing team of the Oscar-nominated Judas and the Black Messiah, as well as Space Jam: A New Legacy and the upcoming movie Creed III. He’s also continuing to work with Marvel as a producer on the upcoming Disney Plus original series Ironheart and an untitled show that will be set around Wakanda.

Is there a Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer?

No, we’re still waiting on the first trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. If trends serve, there’s a good chance it will come out around the time of Thor: Love and Thunder, as Marvel tends to like one Marvel movie leading into another. 

How will Black Panther: Wakanda Forever connect to the MCU?

Fully into Phase 4 of the MCU now, the pieces of how all of the new movies and Disney Plus original series will overlap and lead to the bigger goal of this new era of Marvel. Until we know more about the plot of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, it’s hard to say exactly how the movie will connect with the larger MCU, but there are a couple things we can forecast.

First and foremost, there will be a new Black Panther to be included in future Avengers stories. There is also the possibility of there being a strong connection with Anthony Mackie’s new Captain America, as Wakanda was a presence in his Disney Plus series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Mackie told The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (opens in new tab) in April 2021 that he was working out to play Cap again, which could very well lineup with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, so perhaps Sam Wilson will get a cameo.

Outside of that, it isn’t clear if Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will make any reference of the multiverse, which is setting up to be one of the big storylines for Phase 4.

MCU Films

Fans have been enjoying the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2008, but just to keep things neat and tidy, here is a full list of all the MCU movies (we’re omitting the Disney Plus series) released so far and upcoming as part of Phase 4.

MCU Phase 1

MCU Phase 2

MCU Phase 3

MCU Phase 4

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun.