Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Black Panther movie and comics.
Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther will likely become a key player in the future of the MCU – once the issue of Avengers: Infinity War’s ending is sorted out, of course – but now the movie’s producer has hinted someone else could become the Black Panther one day.
The movie’s director Ryan Coogler did an excellent job of building and casting an extensive array of side characters, who arguably matched, if not stole the show from T’Challa’s Black Panther.
From Michael B Jordan’s intense and troubled villain, Erik Killmonger, to Danai Gurira’s loyal bodyguard, Okoye, Winston Duke’s M’Baku and of course, Black Panther’s answer to Q, the hilarious and vibrant, Shuri, played by Letitia Wright.
Speaking to Screen Rant, producer Nate Moore said: “One thing I like to tell Ryan [Coogler] is, the Black Panther is a mantle as much as it is a person, so we’re not restricted by anything, because the truth is, there’s a lot of different ways to go back to Wakanda and have a good time and continue to explore the themes that made the first film so resonant.”
Normally the mantle of the Black Panther is held by whoever rules Wakanda. Although the powers are offered to both M’Baku and T’Challa’s girlfriend Nakia, during the movie, so there’s already a precedent set. Of course, Killmonger forces his way into the role, as well, so it’s totally feasible.
Meanwhile, Shuri has become the Black Panther in the comic books and given her incredible reception from both fans and critics alike, she would be an obvious contender.
The MCU is in also desperate need of more leading female characters and diversity, as Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel movie in 2019 marks the first female-led superhero film for the brand in 10 years, while Black Widow’s film is still searching for directors.
Given the recent announcement of Ms. Marvel – a Muslim female superhero movie – Shuri slotting into the Black Panther role in years to come seems totally feasible. And thankfully, director Ryan Coogler seems keen too.
Speaking to Variety at the Cannes Film Festival recently, he said the section of the film focussing on the women was “one of my favourite parts of the movie when I watched it.
“We have these actresses who could easily carry their own movie. Some of them have before. We were so fortunate. I would watch a movie with them!”
When asked about a spin-off with Black Panther’s women, he said: “Oh man. That would be amazing if the opportunity came up.”
Black Panther is out on DVD and Blu-ray from June 11.
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