Letitia Wright aka Shuri is set to assume the mantle of ruler of Wakanda in Black Panther 2
The superhero fandom is still distraught by the sudden demise of Chadwick Boseman (Rest in Power King), who lost his battle against cancer this year in April. It is still unimaginable for the studio and fans to think about the Black Panther sequel. While T’Challa will always be our king, MCU going forward would surely need a ruler of Wakanda. Actor Letitia Wright who played Shuri notably in Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame – is a fair choice.
After Boseman’s demise, the Marvel Studio is in a fix. They can either recast the character or elevate one to assume the mantle in Black Panther 2. While Boseman is forever our king recasting him isn’t even an option in fans. So going by director Ryan Coogler and studios options, latter sits well with the audience and that’s where Wright comes in.
Watch: Chadwick Boseman Tribute | Marvel
Shuri, Princess Of Wakanda And The Black Panther
The idea of Shuri assuming the mantle of Black Panther isn’t unheard of. Like so many of our favourite heroes one day Black Panther’s mantle would have been passed to the next generation. In MCU Phase 4 we already see names like Kate Bishop (Hawkeye), Kamala Khan (Ms Marvel), Jennifer Walters (She-Hulk) popping up while Sam Wilson was passed on the shield by Captain America himself. There are even rumours of Miles Morales coming in from Multiverse and joining Young Avengers in the MCU.
In past, Marvel President Kevin Feige had even confirmed that we’ll see more of Shuri in the MCU. He told EW,
It’s a balance between leaving people wanting more and then giving them too much…I think Shuri’s astounding, and you’ll see much more of her in our universe.
Watch: ‘Black Panther’ Represents “Real Hopes & Dreams,” Says Producer Kevin Feige | THR
In the comic Shuri assumed the mantle of Black Panther from her half-brother T’Challa after he was in a temporarily comatose state. And in MCU Shuri has been a fan favourite right from the start even to be the successor of Iron-Man, Robert Downey Jr himself. (Science swag!)
In an ideal world, Shuri’s would have has an organic succession both in MCU and Wakanda’s throne. Sadly, in real-world, the studio and the cast are forced to think about it sooner or later. Speaking to Porter Magazine, Wright recently said, “We’re just still mourning Chad, so it’s not something I even want to think about. The thought of doing it without him is kinda strange. We’re just grieving at the moment, so it’s trying to find the LIGHT in the midst of it.”
Black Panther’s Future
The Black Panther sequel was initially announced for May 6, 2022, and has maintained it since despite the Coronavirus delay. However, in a recent turn of events, the movie might get delayed. Nonetheless, the studio might have already started planning the succession of Letitia Wright as the next protector of Wakanda in Black Panther 2.
Marvel’s marketing team works in an integrated manner where to hype one character it starts popping up in several places like games, toys, books etc. Something similar is happening around Letitia Wright’s Shuri. Recently, Marvel released an in-universe book called ‘Wakanda Files.’ The tome is written from Shuri’s point of view and is her database chronicling scientific advancements of MCU right from the time of Super Soldier experiment to Iron Man’s time travel experiments.
In a recent interview with Yahoo Wright spoke about Marvel’s all women A-Force team coming together and her dream line-up with Captain Marvel, Valkyrie and her Black Panther co-stars. She said,
“I don’t think we have to fight for it. Victoria Alonso is very strong about spearheading it, alongside Kevin. It’s only a matter of time before they do it.”
An A-Force team is expected from MCU since Avenger: Endgame’s foreshadowing moment when all-female superheroes – Wasp, Shuri, Okoye, Rescue, Wanda, Gamora, and Nebula – come together to help Captain Marvel. While A-Force is coming to MCU sooner than later, it’s Wright’s casual confirmation that makes one wonder about the prospect of her assuming the mantle slowly.
You see, getting a top-billing in a franchise is BIG especially in Disney owned Marvel Studios. There have been rumours of studio giving in Brie Larson’s demand for top-billing in the franchise whereas Wright’s billing for Black Panther sequel will be an organic step.
The affirmation and surety in Wright’s statements reflects that of RDJ who had the top-billing in the Avenger’s saga. And we all know he had complete knowledge of the future of the MCU than any other actor.