Think the Black Panther 2 trailer spoils who's the new Panther? Don't be so sure

Shuri wears a white hood and cloak as she walks down a path during T'Challa's funeral procession in Black Panther 2
Black Panther 2's latest trailer has already teased who the new Wakandan superhero is. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Black Panther 2's Wakandan characters will all have an opinion on who should replace T'Challa as their new superhero.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel Studios' vice president of production and development Nate Moore revealed an intriguing new tidbit about the forthcoming MCU Phase 4 film. Namely, that everyone associated with the African kingdom believes a different individual is best suited to assume the role. So expect some tense discussions between the film's main characters about who should succeed their fallen king as the heir to the Black Panther name.

In the wake of lead star Chadwick Boseman's death in August 2020, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be an ensemble movie, with returning actors including Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Winston Duke, and Lupita Nyong'o taking on larger roles. 

The biggest question surrounding the superhero film concerns the identity of the character set to replace Boseman's T'Challa as Wakanda's champion, aka the titular Black Panther. The Marvel movie's latest trailer already seemed to confirm who that individual will be, but it could end up being a misdirect – a tactic Marvel has employed in the past for its other highly anticipated projects.

For her part, Nyong'o wasn't giving anything away in THR's cover story on the Kenyan-Mexican actor. However, Moore was a bit more forthcoming, suggesting that every one of Wakanda's major players has an opinion on who should become the new Black Panther.

"The Black Panther has existed in Wakanda for centuries, so the notion of someone else picking up the mantle didn’t seem inorganic," Moore said. "But once that had to become a reality, then it was, ‘OK, what makes the most sense for the story? Who actually makes the most sense to take this thing on?’ All of the characters in the film have a different idea of who should don the mantle and why."

Thankfully, it won't be long until we find out who Wakanda's new protector-in-chief is. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever arrives in theaters worldwide on November 11. However, the social media reactions embargo lifts on October 28, so major story spoilers could start to emerge online from this point. Be aware of this as you scroll through Twitter from that date onwards.

Analysis: do we really know who the new Black Panther is?

A screenshot of the new Black Panther with their back to the camera in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Who is the MCU's new Black Panther? (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Potentially big spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever follow.

It would appear so. As we mentioned earlier, the film's newest trailer appears to confirm who will adopt the Black Panther mantle in Wakanda Forever, with most fans – us included – speculating that it's none other than Shuri, T'Challa's brother. It's clearly a female character in the suit at the end of the trailer, and the white facepaint markings on the helmet, which Shuri is adorned with during T'Challa's funeral procession, all but confirm that she's Wakanda's new champion.

But what if it isn't? What if this is all just a misdirect on Marvel's part? After all, the studio has form for leaving spoiler-based content out of its trailers, or including footage that doesn't wind up making it into the final film (Avengers: Infinity War, we're looking at you).

The new Black Panther, then, could be anyone. The character we see wearing the superhero suit in the latest trailer could be Danai Gurira's Okoye, Nyongo's Nakia, or even Michaela Coel's Aneka. As we said, the markings on the helmet could be a way of throwing us off the scent, making us believe it's Shuri when it isn't really.

Then there's the possibility that any of the above quartet might be temporary custodians of the Black Panther name. In September 2021, reports emerged that Winston Duke's M'Baku would wind up wearing the suit. Meanwhile, online rumors have claimed that multiple characters will assume the mantle. Another piece of speculation suggests a character we've yet to see could become the new Black Panther, too, but we'll refrain from posting that here in case a) it's proved to be true, and b) it ends up being a huge spoiler.

With the Marvel movie less than a month from release, we'll soon find out for sure. In the meantime, Marvel will be loving the speculation generated from the newest trailer and all the other rumors leading up to the flick's release.

For more MCU-based content, find out which long overdue villain is set to make their MCU debut in Marvel Studios' Ironheart Disney Plus show. Alternatively, read up on everything we know about Marvel Phase 5.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

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