Ryan Coogler, Marvel Director Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, revealed that the sequel will see Letitia Wright’s Shuri discover the difference between intelligence and wisdom. Release scheduled for November 11, wakanda forever marks the final film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4 movie slate and serves as a sequel to 2018 Black Panther. Unfortunately, in 2020, original Black Panther Star Chadwick Boseman died of colon cancer, leaving Coogler and his team to find a way to continue the film series without him.
Rather than recast T’Challa’s Boseman role, wakanda forever will see Wright’s Shuri and the rest of T’Challa’s family and loved ones mourn his passing as their nation faces a new threat in the form of Namor of Tenoch Huerta and the Undersea Kingdom of Talokan. Wright, who received the top spot for the sequel, is expected to largely take on the role of Black Panther during the film, just like his character does in the comics. Marvel, however, has kept the identity of the next Black Panther a closely guarded secret, despite trailers indicating it will be a woman who dresses up as the titular superhero.
Recently, Screen Rant managed to catch up with Coogler about his work on the film and he talked about what audiences can expect from the highly anticipated sequel. While Coogler admitted that there were many themes present in the film, he wanted to focus on the “concept of intelligence versus wisdom, what it means to be smart versus what it means to be wise.“He also suggested that Shuri, who is”accustomed to being smarter than everyone around her,” will have a lot to learn from Namor, who has lived much longer than her. Check out his full comments below:
[There are] many themes in this film. I don’t want to go into all of them because it would suck, but one thing we would talk about is this idea [that] in the first Panther movie, there was a big conversation around innovation and tradition. There were traditionalists and there were innovators. In this one, we tried to be less focused on that concept, even though it’s still there. But in this one, I really thought about this concept of intelligence versus wisdom, what it means to be intelligent versus what it means to be wise, and who wins when these things come into contact with each other with the others. And there is something to be said for wisdom. Wisdom comes with a life lived, and Namor is a very old character in a human sense. He lives a long time, so he is very wise. Shuri comes into contact with this guy who is much older than he looks, and she is used to being smarter than everyone around her. And maybe you could say she’s smarter than Namor, but she’s no wiser than him. Wisdom is a powerful thing. She also deals with the wisdom of her mother, and I think that made the film very interesting. And that’s a big difference between them. Namor has lived far more life than her and has been less protected than she has been. Talokan is, in many ways, more exposed than Wakanda, even though the world knows Wakanda. It’s this idea of vulnerability and what it can mean.
What can Wakanda learn from Talokan in Black Panther 2?
Preparing the story for wakanda forever, Coogler chose to dive deep into Mesoamerican mythology and replaced the underwater kingdom of Atlantis with Talokan, a location based on Aztec legend. It would seem that the Kingdom of Namor is steeped in ancient lore and potentially has centuries of accumulated wisdom at its fingertips. Although the respective nations of Wakanda and Talokan appear to be adversaries throughout the events of the film, it is likely by respecting and learning the wisdom of the people of Talokan that Shuri and the rulers of Wakanda will eventually find a path to the peace.
Much like Wakanda, Talokan has apparently decided to isolate itself from the world at large and has kept its existence a secret. T’Challa’s decision to open Wakanda’s borders, however, could have unintended consequences for the late king’s nation and its neighbors. Namor, who has likely seen many nations fall to outside influences in his long life, has the potential to teach the current rulers of Wakanda a lot about maintaining their own culture and traditions. Audiences will get a chance to see what Talokan can offer the people of Wakanda when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever officially hits theaters next week.
Next: Full Breakdown Of The New Black Panther Costume In Wakanda Forever