Black Panther 2 will reportedly premiere as one of the first films to comprise the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) Phase 5 slate. The movie will follow a set of films and Disney+ shows destined to conclude the arcs of remaining original Avengers — Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Widow, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and more.
Based on information available, as well as insider leaks surrounding the film, it looks like Kevin Feige and Co. have decided to use Black Panther 2 as a narrative transition — a placeholder to mark the end of one MCU era and the introduction of another. If several rumors surrounding the film turn out to be credible, the film will act as a bridge to a new filmic landscape — with new characters and new teams at the center. First off, T’Challa may pass the torch onto Shuri, leaving the hero’s responsibilities in another’s hands.
1. Shuri may become the next Black Panther
In the comic books, Shuri does become the Black Panther; thus, such an occurrence would not stray from canon, but rather pay homage to it. Rumor has it that Shuri will take over for T’Challa as Black Panther in the next installment. If such is true, the movie will work to cement the introduction of another female savior, who could come to contribute to Captain Marvel’s expected all-female team, the A-Force.
According to We Got This Covered, Killmonger may return to the second installment; however, he will not be resurrected. He will reportedly feature in the ancestral plane; thus, he may share a bit of wisdom for T’Challa — a man struggling to come to grips with his monarchical duties, superpowers, and personal desires. Maybe, he will help T’Challa realize that it’s time to move on.
And, apparently, financial discrepancies between Chadwick Boseman and Disney have gotten in the way of the art, presenting another bag of worms that could translate into a narrative shift. However, Shuri becoming the next Black Panther is not the only major shift that could be on the way.
2. ‘Black Panther 2’ could serve to bring the mutants into the MCU
Rumor has it that Storm may become one of the first mutants to appear in Black Panther 2. In the comics, Storm (Ororo Munroe) and Black Panther boast a whirlwind romance — leading to marriage, children, and eventually divorce. Yet, if Storm comes to play, she will be one of the first mutants — and a pivotal one at that — to feature in the landscape.
The connection between Storm and Black Panther could lead to the X-Men and/or The Brotherhood, and the relationship between T’Challa and Ororo Munroe could lead the two to join forces, forcing T’Challa to leave Wakanda in someone else’s hands to assist the love of his life.
In short, between rumors surrounding Storm and Shuri, it seems that Black Panther 2 will be less about diving into T’Challa, and more about setting up the future of the landscape for all-new superhero teams and conflicts.