The Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer took the world by storm after it premiered at Marvel’s San Diego Comic-Con panel. The video earned 172 million views only 24 hours after fans got their hands on it. The last shot of the trailer teases a glimpse at the new Black Panther, who takes on the mantle after T’Challa’s death. Unfortunately, we never see their face, leaving us in the dark regarding their identity. However, we have three theories about who becomes the hero in the sequel.
1. Okoye could become the new Black Panther in the sequel
Our first option for the new Black Panther is Okoye, played by Danai Gurira. She was T’Challa’s right-hand woman in the first film and continued that role in Avengers: Infinity War. As the leader of the Dora Milaje, Okoye is more than capable of taking on the Black Panther mantle.
Okoye also rose to the occasion after Thanos’ snap killed T’Challa at the end of the third Avengers film. She joined the Avengers, led by Natasha Romanoff, while also looking after the nation of Wakanda.
So there’s no doubt that Okoye would make a great Black Panther, and she’s earned the mantle after her dedication to Wakanda over the years. Although it’s difficult to imagine her leaving the Dora Milaje, it’s possible that Okoye could be T’Challa’s successor.
Another candidate for the new Black Panther is Nakia, played by Lupita Nyong’o. Naika is a War Dog, an undercover Wakandan spy, and she was T’Challa’s love interest. Nyong’o portrayed Nakia in the first movie, and at the end of the film, she had romantically reconciled with T’Challa and started running the Wakandan outreach center in California.
Given her past as a War Dog and member of the Dora Milaje, Naika has what it takes to be the hero Wakanda needs in the wake of T’Challa’s death. Plus, in the first movie, Nakia almost took one of the Heart-Shaped Herbs after they believed Killmonger killed T’Challa.
We wouldn’t be surprised if Nakia follows in the footsteps of her former lover and becomes the new Black Panther in the Black Panther sequel.
After the SDCC panel, The Hollywood Reporter asked Nyong’o who replaces T’Challa. She responded, “Don’t you just love a good secret?”
3. Shuri is most likely to take on the Black Panther mantle
The third (and best) theory is that Shuri, played by Letitia Wright, becomes the new Black Panther after her brother dies in the upcoming film. While her specialty lies in technology and science, Shuri is as courageous as heroes come in the MCU. There’s no doubt that T’Challa would be happy if his sister kept his legacy alive.
After Chadwick Boseman’s death, Marvel announced that Shuri would take on a more significant role in the sequel. Of course, they didn’t specify what this statement meant, but many interpreted it to mean that she would become Wakanda’s new hero.
In the comic books, Shuri also takes her brother’s place when he becomes gravely injured. It wouldn’t be shocking if the same happens in the next MCU: Phase 4 movie.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premieres exclusively in theaters on Nov. 11, 2022.