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Huge new leak hints at a surprising future for Black Panther in the MCU

Published Jan 9th, 2021 9:01AM EST
Black Panther 2
Image: Marvel

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  • A leaker who claims they have access to Marvel insiders detailed many of the MCU Phase 4 movies and TV series online, including the upcoming Black Panther sequel.
  • The person revealed purported details about the movie’s general plot and characters, including information about the character who will become the next Black Panther now that Chadwick Boseman has passed away.
  • The person said T’Challa would be written off instead of dying in the sequel and that his replacement will be a complete surprise to the audience.

Actor Chadwick Boseman passed away last year after a long, secret bout with cancer. In the weeks following his passing, we found out that people who worked with Boseman in recent years had no idea what he was going through, including Marvel and Disney. Boseman played some of its most iconic roles as he battled cancer, including King T’Challa/Black Panther in several MCU films. Black Panther was a huge success for Disney, and a sequel had already been announced when Boseman passed away. The actor was supposed to resume work for the untitled sequel, reports said, just as Ryan Coogler was finishing the script.

Marvel and Disney did not address the obvious problem in the immediate aftermath of Boseman’s passing, but fans were quick to urge the studios not to recast T’Challa. Instead, they said the Black Panther mantle should go to Shuri (Letitia Wright), who would become Black Panther at some point in the future.

In December, Marvel’s Kevin Feige announced that Boseman’s legacy will live on, as Marvel would not recast T’Challa for Black Panther 2. A new leak from a person who has spilled plenty of Marvel leaks says that the next person to become Black Panther will be a surprise. Mind you, some (possible) spoilers will follow below.

The same person who revealed the purported title of Spider-Man 3 also offered details about Marvel’s Black Panther plans. It all comes from 4chan, so Marvel fans should take everything with an appropriate amount of salt. It will take some time for these rumors to be verified or debunked. Black Panther 2 has a July 8th, 2022 release date, so a lot could change by then, even if these rumors were accurate when they were written.

The leaker said that Marvel will not change the sequel too much in terms of the villains or the story. T’Challa will obviously be replaced with a new candidate, and here’s where things get interesting. The leaker said that Feige wanted to recast T’Challa initially, as the character was important for Marvel’s plans. If Iron Man and Captain America were the main pillars of the previous MCU phases, Black Panther would carry on the next ones, the same person said. With Boseman’s T’Challa gone, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) will be the main faces of the MCU.

Feige’s plan was controversial among the inner circles of Marvel, says the leaker. Coogler, who wrote and directed the first installment in the franchise, argued against recasting. Marvel looked at Shuri taking over the Black Panther role along with M’Baku (Winston Duke) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o). They even looked at having two characters be Black Panther. The creatives also talked about doing a prequel at one point. The leaker says later in his comments that Marvel is also contemplating doing a Wakanda/Black Panther prequel series starring Sterling K. Brown and Atandwa Kani, who played N’Jobu and young T’Chaka in the first film.

Marvel wanted to delay Black Panther 2 and ultimately continue with T’Challa, but the studio didn’t want to lose Coogler. Ultimately, Marvel decided to let Coogler turn Shuri or M’Baku into the next Black Panther. Coogler reportedly wanted M’Baku at one point, but he had been pushed for a brand new character from the beginning. Feige agreed, and Coogler has been retooling the script since November for the new character who will become the next Black Panther in the sequel:

The Black Panther mantle will be dawned by an original character created by Coogler. He will be the lead of the film and will be King and Black Panther moving forward. He was described to me as a strong, quiet, powerful but also broken young man with a very unique back story. I was told he was a member of the Miner or River tribe. Apparently a relative of Nakia. Marvel isn’t letting out there plans for this until the last second.

Neither Shuri nor M’Baku will become Black Panther at any point during the film, but they will be the primary supporting characters. Apparently, Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Nakia will have smaller roles as a result. Martin Freeman will return as Agent Ross.

Having a totally new Black Panther is not the only surprise in this leak. The same person said that T’Challa would not die, as we’ve all been expecting. Instead, he’ll be written out of the film, although it’s unclear how that’s supposed to happen. Other Avengers have retired, so it wouldn’t be totally unexpected.

Namor will be the main villain of Black Panther 2, the leaker said, and will be played by Tenoch Huerta. Doctor Doom will be the secondary “smaller” villain. The actor is still negotiating the role, with the leaker saying that fans will love him. Black Panther 2 will essentially be a three-way war between Wakanda, Latveria, and Lemuria. The latter is a stand-in for Atlantis, and it serves as the Deviants’ underwater city in Marvel comics.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.