It’s hard to overstate Black Panther’s cultural impact. The 2018 film, which holds the number six spot for highest-grossing films ever in North America, brought Afrofuturism to the mainstream, created STEM role models for Black youth and proved (once again) that projects featuring predominantly Black casts can indeed do well at the box office. Almost six years after the unprecedented success of the first film, and two since the untimely and tragic passing of T’Challa actor Chadwick Boseman, Marvel Studios is back with a trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
The epic preview features sequences of skillful sword fighting, worrying images of a flooding Wakanda and a mysterious new Black Panther. The trailer opens with an insert of three hands. Two carry the Black Panther’s mask. The other comfortingly holds the arms of that person. Dressed entirely in creamy white attire, it’s Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and Shuri (Letitia Wright). We’re at T’Challa’s funeral. A few moments later, we see a gorgeous mural in tribute to the late African king. The mural features Wakandan writing that translates to “The Panther King Forever Lives in Us and Rests…” It’s a surreal instance where reality and fiction meet. A moment where grief is shared by the film’s characters and real-life fans alike. Shuri lost a brother and thousands of Boseman fans lost a role model.
Watch the trailer below:
When the trailer continues, we witness the introductions of Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and Ironheart (Dominique Thorne) to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Namor, in particular, does not seem to be met warmly. Midway through the trailer, we behold a pretty intense stand-off between the Atlantis ruler and Ramonda. Although Namor’s introduction appears to cause tension within the Wakandan leadership, fans are thrilled with the casting of Huerta, a Mexican actor of Aztec and Purépecha origin. In an interview with Empire Magazine, Huerta shed light on whether or not his character is a villain, stating that, “Latin-Americans are always the bad guys in Hollywood movies. And now we are the heroes—or an anti-hero, in this instance.” What exactly makes Namor an anti-hero, we’ll have to wait and see.
The trailer is everything a MCU fan could hope it would be: A dramatic work full of action, touching moments, tension and suspense. It’s an invitation back to a beloved futuristic world where fans can stand beside their heroes to laugh, learn and mourn.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is directed by Ryan Coogler and arrives in theaters November 11, 2022.
Kathy Michelle Chacón is a Gen-Z writer, academic and filmmaker based in sunny California. When she’s not writing for Paste, Film Cred or Kathychacon.com, you can find her eating pupusas, cuddling with her dog Strawberry or sweating her face off somewhere in the Inland Empire.