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Marvel’s new Black Panther actor might have been revealed

Published Jul 31st, 2021 3:07PM EDT
Black Panther Actor
Image: Marvel Studios

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Devastating news dropped about a year ago. Chadwick Boseman, the beloved Black Panther actor, had died after quietly battling cancer for years. Not even Disney knew about his condition. Speculation ran rampant about how Marvel would deal with the loss. The Black Panther sequel was in development, although it was clear that changes would be needed.

In the months that followed Boseman’s death, we saw all sorts of rumors about the next Black Panther actor. Fans called for Marvel not to recast T’Challa. Instead, Shuri (Letitia Wright) should be Wakanda’s new warrior leader. Marvel then announced the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever title in December. It was at that point when Kevin Feige confirmed that Marvel would not replace Boseman with a new actor. The top Marvel exec did not say who would play Black Panther in the sequel at the time. Now, however, a new leak may reveal Marvel’s plans for Black Panther in Wakanda Forever. Mind you, some spoilers follow below.

The candidates

Some of the rumors we’ve seen since last August said that Shuri might be the next Black Panther. Just like in the comics, and just like Marvel wanted to happen eventually. Others said M’Baku (Winston Duke) or Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) might be a potential Black Panther in the sequel. Or at least worthy contenders. We even saw rumors that said a brand new actor would be the next Black Panther. It wouldn’t be Shuri, M’Baku, or Nakia.

Then we had reports claiming that Shuri will become Black Panther, but she won’t get the title outright. She’ll have to prove herself in the film Before replacing her brother as the leader of Wakanda.

This brings us to That Hashtag Show’s supposed scoop. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will not give us the identity of the new Black Panther from the start. The film went through tons of re-writes, the report says. That’s understandable. Boseman’s passing forced Marvel to rethink the highly anticipated sequel.

Black Panther
Actress Letitia Wright playing T’Challa’s sister Shuri in Marvel MCU movies. Image source: Marvel Studios

Identity of new Black Panther actor revealed

According to the report, Marvel won’t reveal who will play Black Panther in the film’s marketing. We’ll have to wait to see in theaters to find out:

We can share that you should not expect that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will answer immediately who the next Black Panther is. Don’t even expect the marketing materials or any pre-release content to spoil it. Marvel Studios is turning the question of “Who is the next Black Panther?” into an integral part of the story, and it will be a primary storyline in the film. The film will present a few contenders and address a few possibilities, but by the end of the film, you will have a definitive answer as to who the next Black Panther will be.

The report says that Shuri will indeed become Black Panther. She will take the mantle by the third act and defeat the main antagonist. The report doesn’t say how Marvel will handle Boseman’s passing, however. A previous report noted that T’Challa might die off-screen, maybe from an illness. And we should not expect Marvel to use a CGI version of T’Challa in the sequel.

That Hashtag Show also claims that the main villain in Wakanda Forever is Namor the Submariner. Other reports have said the same thing. We heard months ago that actor Tenoch Huerta would play Namor, and this latest report backs that up. There’s no Doctor Doom in Black Panther 2.

Wakanda Forever launches on July 8th, 2022. Until then, we’ll hear Boseman in the MCU one last time in the upcoming What If…? TV show. He’ll play a T’Challa variant who ended up becoming Star-Lord instead of Black Panther.

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.

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