Okay, everybody, they’ve already started filming the Black Panther sequel in Atlanta (back in June). This we know.
Several important questions have already been publicly answered: (1) No, they have not replaced Chadwick Boseman with another actor as T’Challa, King of Wakanda and the Black Panther himself, and (2) Though they have brought in several new faces per the new plot, most of the former major characters are seemingly still there, including Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia; Danai Gurira as Okoye; Letitia Wright as Shuri; Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda; Winston Duke as M’Baku, Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi; and Martin Freeman as CIA agent Everett K. Ross.
According to the movie’s publicist, the film will concentrate on the lives of Wakandans themselves. The place and the richness of life there will be the ‘hero’—the inspiration. Ryan Coogler, the director and principal screenplay author for the Black Panther franchise, remains at the helm.
Nothing much else has been said about the story to be told in this second rendition of an “Africa we really wish existed right now.” We do know that Eric Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan’s stirring character), contrary to a lot of social media rumors, is not scheduled to be brought back. That will surely and especially disappoint a number of young Black males in the African diaspora who have explicitly identified with Killmonger as T’Challa’s main antagonist in the role of an exciting and flame-throwing African freedom fighter who sees the need to punish the western colonial world for its depredations in Africa as a precondition for African development.
Killmonger was a ‘freeing of the spirit’ of all the negativity that has been done to African people, including the Transatlantic and Arab slave trades.
Among the many enlightening conversations that came up in the aftermath of the first Black Panther movie, the increasing gap between those in the Pan African community who espouse dialogue and diplomatic engagement as the primary engines of Africa’s rise to world class status in the 21st century and those who advocate a pay-back strategy first to those who harmed and enslaved Africans was evident. Doubtlessly, if Mr. Coogler’s literary and directorial skills remain at their highest points during this new film, that kind of intense dialogue will continue. Sure, it will only be a film, but it’s “our” film, really.
As Marvel movies often do, there will be an introduction of a major new character who will later be prominent in her own film. The character is Riri Williams, whose nom de plume will be Ironheart. For those familiar with Marvel Comics heroes and heroines, you might remember that Ms. Williams was introduced a while ago as a 15-year-old math genius who interacted with Tony Stark and Ironman. Ms. Williams was smart enough to reverse engineer Stark’s Ironman alter ego and make a superhero costume for herself. She and Tony Stark eventually agreed that she would take the name, Ironheart. Exactly what her role will be in the new Black Panther movie is not yet clear. We just know she’s been announced to appear in the movie and we expect that she’ll be a “baaadd” African mama.
The film is to be called “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and is currently scheduled to be in theaters by July 8, 2022. That date, however, will most likely be altered. Whenever, we can’t wait.
Professor David L. Horne is founder and executive director of PAPPEI, the Pan African Public Policy and Ethical Institute, which is a new 501(c)(3) pending community-based organization or non-governmental organization (NGO). It is the stepparent organization for the California Black Think Tank which still operates and which meets every fourth Friday.
DISCLAIMER: The beliefs and viewpoints expressed in opinion pieces, letters to the editor, by columnists and/or contributing writers are not necessarily those of OurWeekly.