Winston Duke Says ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Is ‘Its Own Thing’: ‘This Is Not ‘Black Panther 1”

Black Panther was a groundbreaking film thanks to its primarily black cast led by the late Chadwick Boseman. After Boseman died following a long and secretive cancer battle, Marvel Cinematic Universe fans wondered how Kevin Feige and company could make up for the lack of the first film’s star. The Black Panther: Wakanda Forever cast recently spoke about the hardships facing the sequel. And actor Winston Duke explained how it would change things from the first. 

Winston Duke returns for ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ 

winston duke black panther
Actor Winston Duke from Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Panther’ at the San Diego Comic-Con International 2017 Marvel Studios Panel in Hall H on July 22, 2017 in San Diego, California. | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

Boseman’s untimely death was a tragic loss for the entertainment world and the MCU. The first film dealt with death, grief, and community, themes that became even more important following his death. While writer-director Ryan Coogler essentially had to start from scratch, he did so in a way that made those involved pleased with the sequel’s trajectory. Duke explained the importance of bringing the story in a new direction during the 2022 San Diego Comic-Con. 

“[It is] important to let go of any expectations that this movie will be Black Panther 1,” Duke told Entertainment Weekly at the panel. “This is going to be its own thing. This narrative has evolved, and it’s changed just like all the characters and just like the circumstances in Wakanda itself. So, for me, in particular, I just had to let go of the expectation of this being anything like the first movie and allowing this movie to be its own thing.”

With so much pressure at their feet, Coogler’s cast and crew don’t merely want to make the movie great. They want to honor everything Boseman did.

Here’s what we know about the ‘Black Panther’ sequel

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever faces Boseman’s death head-on. The film will show the aftermath of T’Challa’s death as danger looms nearby. In addition to Duke, Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, and Martin Freeman return. 

The film’s first trailer features a cover of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” interspersed with funeral footage. Unlike the first movie, Wakanda Forever takes the action underwater. The presence of the villainous Namor might have something to do with this.

Wakanda Forever also marks the on-screen debut of Dominique Thorne’s Ironheart. A spiritual successor to the late great Tony Stark, she will also appear in the upcoming series of the same name. Fans can see what happens when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is released on November 11, 2022.

Can ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ outperform ‘Black Panther’?

Black Panther was one of the most significant event films outside the Avengers saga. However, the success of Tom Cruise’s long-awaited sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, showed that theaters are back — at least, for big legacy titles. As Marvel ramps up its new releases on television and at theaters, returning franchises fair better than new ones, and given Black Panther’s societal impact, the sequel should be another massive hit.

According to Box Office Mojo, the first film grossed $1.3 Billion worldwide, with just over half of that coming from the American market. Given everything that’s happened, audiences are ready to say goodbye to Boseman and move on to explore his legacy. Come November; they will finally get that time to say goodbye.

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