While Kevin Feige won’t be announcing any of the Phase 4 plans until after the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home, we do have an idea of what is on the horizon from Marvel Studios. One of those projects is Ryan Coogler’s sequel to Black Panther which he’ll write and direct with production expected to begin in 2020.
Details are unknown for Black Panther 2, but we have some ideas where it should go given it’s expected Marvel will try to go a little bigger as they do with most of their sequels.
I’d be totally down for a MacGuffin plot since they were trying to give Black Panther a James Bond flare in the first installment, which worked really well for me. A fitting object of interest in the Panther comics is King Solomon’s Frogs, colorful ornamental frogs that possess the power of time-travel. The frogs were also an item of interest to Black Panther villain Princess Zanda, she was the regent of the fictional rival nation of Wakanda called Narobia and also part of an international collective of artifact thieves called The Collectors.
The powers of the frogs could be easily tinkered to do what they need for the film, being an alternative method of entering the realm of the dead could be just as interesting and even more attractive if the frogs could also bring people back to life as well.
Having an object of interest within the borders of Wakanda other than Vibranium when they’ve opened the country to diplomatic envoys, might be an entry point for characters such as Princess Zanda, Namor Mackenzie (Prince of Atlantis), and Victor Von Doom aka Doctor Doom (Supreme Lord of Latveria) to enter Wakanda under a legitimate pretense while casing the technologically advanced nation for their own means. However, not everyone in the groups could be potential foes.
Black Panther was first introduced in the pages of Fantastic Four and the sequel being their introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe could be very fitting. I’m not saying they’d have their powers but you could have them as part of the American envoy heading up the science side of the diplomacy and documenting Wakanda culture/technology.
Namor, on the other hand, could be there to size-up Wakanda as a personal threat to Atlantis or finds a way to get into the country on his own. In the old Defenders comics, there is an altercation between Namor and Black Panther that almost leads the two advanced nations to exchange nuclear warheads. The tension between the two secret superpowers could lead to some epic action sequences.
Ryan Coolger originally wanted to include Spider-Man villain Sergei Nikolaevich Kravinoff aka Kraven The Hunter, having him as a personal bodyguard to Doom or an agent of Latveria could be an interesting angle to present him.
Doom, of course, might still be getting his own solo movie from Noah Hawley (Lucy In The Sky, Fargo, Legion) and having an introduction to the Marvel baddie in a movie of this scale could be a smart move on the part of Marvel.
Another way to go with the sequel is diving deeper into the Wakanda afterlife stuff.
In the comics, T’Challa is made King of The Dead giving him the strength and knowledge of every previous Black Panther that has died. He’s able to move between the realm of the living and dead via the Wall of Knowledge.
Necropolis, the Wakandian city of the dead could be an excellent location for a sequel focusing on the afterlife mythology. It’s also one of the homes of the Illuminati, a group of the greatest minds of Earth that originally consisted of T’Challa, Namor, Professor Charles Xavier, Dr. Reed Richard, Doctor Strange, Tony Stark, and Inhumans leader Black Bolt.
There could be consequences with T’Challa tinkering with the realm of the dead and may bring in a villain like Mephisto (Marvel’s cosmic version of the Devil that has connections to Doctor Doom) to the MCU, who might be able to bring back the Black Panther’s greatest threats from the past to the land of the living as a punishment for trespassing in his domain. This could also be a way to bring back both Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and N’Jobu (Sterling K. Brown) back to life along with other legendary Black Panther rogues that had been long defeated.
Those are just some early ideas and I can’t wait to see what they end up doing with the film.
If filming does get underway in early to mid-2020 we should expect to see Black Panther release sometime in 2021.