The tragic passing of actor Chadwick Boseman last year left fans in shock and tears. But even back then when everyone was processing his death, one thing was clear, no one else could play King T’Challa, the Black Panther. Marvel agreed or had the same sentiments at least because they too refused to recast the role.
As such, Black Panther 2 was expected to make a narrative shift to accommodate the death of beloved Boseman. During December’s Disney Investor Day, Kevin Feige, the head of Marvel Studios finally confirmed that the role of T’Challa would not be recast. Instead, the sequel to the first Black Panther movie will focus on Wakanda and explore that world as well as the people who reside in it.
But even then fans are expecting that the mantle of the Black Panther will be passed down now that T’Challa isn’t there. Such questions will surely be answered in the sequel movie. But it looks like there’s more brewing apart from just the sequel movie.
A report by Deadline said that Black Panther director and co-writer Ryan Coogler is developing a Disney+ series based in Wakanda. It was also mentioned that Disney has “extended its relationship” with Ryan Coogler with a “five-year overall exclusive television deal” with Proximity Media.
Here’s the statement shared by Coogler:
“It’s an honor to be partnering with The Walt Disney Company. Working with them on Black Panther was a dream come true. As avid consumers of television, we couldn’t be happier to be launching our television business with Bob Iger, Dana Walden and all the amazing studios under the Disney umbrella. We look forward to learning, growing, and building a relationship with audiences all over the world through the Disney platforms. We are especially excited that we will be taking our first leap with Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso and their partners at Marvel Studios where we will be working closely with them on select MCU shows for Disney+. We’re already in the mix on some projects that we can’t wait to share.”
Bob Iger, Walt Disney Company Executive Chairman also expressed his excitement at the new deal and said this:
“Ryan Coogler is a singular storyteller whose vision and range have made him one of the standout filmmakers of his generation. With Black Panther, Ryan brought a groundbreaking story and iconic characters to life in a real, meaningful, and memorable way, creating a watershed cultural moment. We’re thrilled to strengthen our relationship and look forward to telling more great stories with Ryan and his team.”
So with Coogler “already in the mix on some projects” and Disney’s Bob Over backing him, it looks like Wakanda’s future is definitely bright. After all, expanding the fictional country using TV’s long-form storytelling method gives plenty of opportunities to other characters to shine.
It’s similar to what shows like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision did. Also, Ryan Coogler’s involvement in other MCU shows is really exciting because it means that Black Panther characters could show up in other projects too. But right now, all we know is that the series will be based in and on Wakanda.
So basically, the story possibilities are simply endless. As such, characters like Shuri and M’Baku could now be pushed to the forefront. After all, they played important roles in the first Black Panther movie and are popular with audiences as well. But, there’s also the possibility that the next Black Panther project could put the focus on the different tribes that exist in Wakanda. Now, this will surely help expand the fictional setting.
Another thing that Coogler might do is look to the past. They might dive deep into the lore and myth surrounding Black Panther. After all, the mantle has been passed on through various generations. So the show could choose to highlight the individuals who had previously held the title.
This will allow fans to understand the importance and legacy behind the title of the Black Panther. Doing this will also help highlight how T’Challa was different or better than his ancestors. But that’s not all. Another storyline that they could do is focus on the technological prowess and advancement of Wakanda.
It could highlight the adverse effects of the technology ending up with the wrong people. Now, the Black Panther movie focused on this aspect, but an episodic approach could help flesh out this aspect better. Also, we think that Coogler won’t focus on just one storyline. He will surely want to explore Wakanda from multiple angles. So we might get to see bits and pieces of all of the above ideas.
Overall, it’s clear that Wakanda is going to play a huge role going forward in the MCU. So it will certainly be exciting to see how Coogler shapes the fictional technologically advanced African country in the coming years for the MCU.