‘Black Panther 2’ Has Finally Settled On a Villain, But Is There a Release Date?

After making $1.3 billion in theaters, expectations are high for the sequel to Black Panther. Ryan Coogler is set to return as director, and sources claim that he has already picked T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman) next main nemesis. Although development is clearly underway, Marvel did not include Black Panther 2 in the Phase 4 schedule. When can fans expect to see the movie hit theaters?

Black Panther Chadwick Boseman
Black Panther himself Chadwick Boseman | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

A look at Marvel’s upcoming lineup

Following a record-breaking 2019 that featured three movies pass the billion-dollar mark — including the groundbreaking Black Panther — the studio has big plans for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Marvel has already announced its full slate of movies for Phase 4, which includes two films (Black Widow and The Eternals) this year. But the studio has remained very quiet about Phase 5 projects.

There are a handful of movies that will likely premiere in Phase 5, including Captain Marvel 2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Ant-Man 3, Blade, and Deadpool 3. But the only film that has a confirmed released date is Black Panther 2.

Outside of the MCU, Marvel is planning on releasing a slew of television shows on Disney+. That lineup includes the likes of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Loki, and Hawkeye.

Everything we know about ‘Black Panther 2’

There have been plenty of rumors surrounding the Black Panther sequel, yet Marvel has remained very tight-lipped about the project.

The studio has, however, confirmed several key details about the movie. We know, for instance, that Coogler is returning to direct and write the sequel, and that Boseman, Letitia Wright, Martin Freeman, and Danai Gurira are all returning to reprise their roles.

Speaking of Freeman, the actor recently teased that production on the sequel will kick off in 2021. Freeman revealed that he was given an official filming schedule, though it did not sound like he has received a script yet.

As far as the plot is concerned, Marvel president Kevin Feige previously revealed that Coogler has a story in mind for the Black Panther sequel but is taking his time fleshing out the details. Considering how the first movie was a major success at the box office and snagged a nomination for Best Picture at the Oscars, Coogler has high expectations to meet.

As a side note, some of the more interesting theories about the film include the idea that Shuri (Wright) is going to be the next Black Panther and that Michael B. Jordan is coming back as Erik Killmonger.

Who will be the villain in ‘Black Panther 2’?

Coogler has not commented on the speculation surrounding Black Panther 2, though an inside source told We Got This Covered that he has already made up his mind about the movie’s villain.

The insider claims that Coogler is introducing Namor as the film’s main antagonist. Namor will be joined by a few henchmen, including Ulysses Klaue, who was in the first movie.

The source says that the plot will involve the city of Atlantis. After the Wakandans unknowingly pollute the fabled city, Namor rises up to protect its citizens. If this is true, then the project’s subtitle may very well be Lost Kingdom, something that was leaked a few months ago.

No word yet on who Marvel might tap to play Namor.

When is ‘Black Panther 2’ premiering in theaters?

With a villain already set and production expected to begin next year, Black Panther 2 is slated to premiere in theaters in May of 2022.

If that premiere date holds, that will put Black Panther 2 at the beginning of Phase 5 of the MCU. With that in mind, a lot could change over the next two years, and there is no telling how things are going to unfold in Phase 4.

In the meantime, the next movie in Marvel’s lineup is Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, which is scheduled to hit theaters in May. The Eternals, meanwhile, is due to open in theaters in November.

Hopefully, we will learn more about the plot of Black Panther 2 as we get closer to production. But it definitely sounds like Coogler and his time have plenty of ideas in the works.