The first teaser for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever featured a surprising sight: someone who’s acting an awful lot like T’Challa. It’s, of course, impossible that it’s the former king: Chadwick Boseman died in 2020, and Marvel brass decided not to recast him. So who is it? Some have speculated that the new protector of Wakanda might wind up being one of the big break-out characters from the 2018 original: Letitia Wright’s Shuri. So is it her?
The answer: Maybe! Possibly! Or maybe not! She’s certainly the odds-on favorite of a lot of Internet detectives, who’ve scoured the teaser and its new trailer for clues about who that mystery warrior is. One theory: The face paint Shuri wears early in the trailer closely resembles marks on the warrior’s mask. But like much reckless online theorizing, that’s still pretty wishy-washy. (But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t wind up being true. Besides, even though this looks more like an ensemble piece, it’s Wright who nabbed top billing.)
But who else could it be? Marvel has suggested that the next hero of this wing of the MCU will be female, and there are a lot of female characters in Black Panther. It could be Nakia, Lupita Nyong’o’s Wakandan spy. It could be Okoye, the head of Wakanda’s all-female Dora Milaje, played by Danai Gurai. It might even wind up being a newcomer: Michaela Coel’s Aneka, who in the comics, at least, is kicked out of the Dora Milaje after killing a chieftain, leaving her to co-form the vigilante duo known as the Midnight Angels.
So as per your question of whether Shuri will be the new Black Panther, the answer is: We’ll see! Seems likely. But it might be someone else. Check this space later, closer to when Wakanda Forever arrives, which it will on November 11. In the meantime, you can watch the new trailer in the video below.