‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ introduces a new hero to the Marvel franchise – but who is she?

  • New trailer shows the titular role has been taken by a woman, but doesn’t show if it is held by characters played by Letitia Wright or Lupita Nyong’o
  • Film also introduces Dominique Thorne as Ironheart, who will be getting her own Disney+ series next year
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Letitia Wright stars in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”, but it is unclear whether she plays the titular role. Photo: Marvel Studios/TNS

The Black Panther franchise has revealed only one thing for sure about its new titular hero.

She’s a woman.

Shuri, T’Challa’s brilliant younger sister played by Letitia Wright in the 2018 film, could have been the actor who carries the mantle in the new trailer that dropped on Monday, aligning with years of reports and speculation about her new role. But the new Marvel hero also could very well be Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia, Danai Gurira‘s Okoye or someone else altogether, as the tease is intentionally vague.

“Show them who we are!” says their mother Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) as the fictional African nation processes its grief, while a ferocious war is waged on land and under the sea.

“I think this film has the fog of loss over it, and anamorphic lenses warp the image a little bit,” director Ryan Coogler told Entertainment Weekly. “Sometimes when you go through profound loss, it can warp how you look at the world.”

Serving as both a tease to the highly anticipated film and as a nod to star Chadwick Boseman, who died of cancer in August 2020, the trailer leans into the emotional turmoil that struck the blockbuster franchise when he died. The trailer also builds two worlds for the new heroes to save.

Why Black Panther’s new antagonist isn’t just another Aquaman

“Only the most broken people can be great leaders,” Namor says during the opening sequences, which introduce Tenoch Huerta as the film’s anti-hero. He’s a “feather serpent god” who lives in the advanced underwater kingdom of Talokan and whose threat looms large.

The trailer also highlights Dominique Thorne as American inventor Riri Williams, known as Ironheart in the comic books. (The teen hero is getting her own Disney+ series next year.)

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits cinemas on November 9.

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