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We already know who the next Black Panther is

Updated Nov 9th, 2022 12:30PM EST
Trailer 2 gives us the best Black Panther teaser so far.
Image: Marvel Studios

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will deliver the MCU’s next Black Panther now that Chadwick Boseman has passed away. Marvel already teased the new hero in trailers and promo clips, and it even tried to mislead fans into thinking that we might have more than one new Black Panther in the movie.

Some rumors claimed that Marvel might feature different characters as Black Panther before deciding on the real one. However, we think we already know who the new Black Panther is, and it’s all thanks to a massive plot leak.

Beware, big Wakanda Forever spoilers follow below.

Marvel decided not to recast T’Challa after Boseman’s tragic death, so Wakanda Forever will be another origin story of sorts, despite being a sequel. The movie will show how the next Black Panther emerges to defend Wakanda and the world. Much like Black Panther showed us how T’Challa became Black Panther and King.

There is a big twist in all of this, however. Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) had the entire crop of Heart-Shaped Herbs burned in the first movie. Therefore, the succession tradition can’t be performed. You can’t give the new King or Queen the powers of Black Panther without the herb. All you’d have to pass on is a Black Panther suit that Shuri (Letitia Wright) would likely develop.

Trailer 2 gives us the best Black Panther teaser so far.
Trailer 2 gives us the best Black Panther teaser so far. Image source: Marvel Studios

With that in mind, even before Boseman’s passing, Marvel made its job more difficult. Passing the Black Panther mantle to someone else can’t be as easy.

Black Panther teasers in Wakanda Forever trailers and clips

Also, Marvel knows better than to reveal the identity of the next Black Panther ahead of the Wakanda Forever release. That’s not something coming via trailers and TV ads.

Marvel teased the new Black Panther in the first trailer back in July. But we then had to wait several months to see the character’s full body. That was the first big reveal: The next Black Panther will be a woman.

Or, a woman will be one of the panthers in Wakanda Forever, assuming we get more than one. Marvel then showed us the new Black Panther in action, but it also squeezed in a misleading detail. The following image shows us two Black Panther helmets.

A person picking one of two Black Panther armor in new Wakanda Forever promo.
A person picking one of two Black Panther armor in new Wakanda Forever promo. Image source: Marvel Studios

The implication here might be that more than a character could become Black Panther in Wakanda Forever. But that’s just one interpretation. Maybe one helmet belonged to T’Challa and the other belongs to the new Black Panther. Not to mention that the two helmets don’t match the new Black Panther’s costume from Marvel’s trailers.

The most recent Wakanda Forever promo clip indicates that the helmet on the left might belong to T’Challa. It’s the one they’ll use in the funeral ceremony.

Who is the MCU’s next Black Panther?

We’ll remind you that early Wakanda Forever rumors said that Shuri should become the new Black Panther, just like in the comics. We’ve long suspected this was Marvel’s plan for the current movie.

Fast-forward to earlier this week, and a massive plot leak revealed the identity of the new Black Panther. It will be Shuri indeed taking on the role. However, that wasn’t her main priority, as the same leak indicates. Also, let’s remember that most of the action takes place about a year after T’Challa’s death. A year where the Avengers had no Black Panther.

Shuri (Letitia Wright) in the first Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer.
Shuri (Letitia Wright) in the first Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer. Image source: Marvel Studios

According to the plot leak, Shuri will become Black Panther to face Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and protect her people. And she’ll be the only character to wear the armor.

The same leak indicates that M’Baku (Winston Duke) will challenge Shuri, although it should all be just a joke. After all, it’ll be Shuri who makes artificial herbs.

Wakanda Forever’s big twist

While Shuri could be Wakanda’s next Black Panther for a while, there’s no guarantee that she’ll wear the armor for very long. According to the same plot leak, there’s a big twist at the end of Black Panther 2. The credits scene will introduce T’Challa Jr., the son of Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and T’Challa.

He should be around seven years old, and he might be at the heart of Marvel’s plan to soft-reboot the T’Challa role in the future. Teenage T’Challa might join the Young Avengers soon. And he might become a full Avengers team member down the road.

A poster showing King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) during the funeral.
A poster showing King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) during the funeral. Image source: Marvel Studios

As with other leaks, the Wakanda Forever plot and credits scene details might be wrong. But it sure looks like we know who the new Black Panther is.

More Marvel coverage: For more MCU news, visit our Marvel guide.

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.