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Disney and Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was unveiled at its world premiere in Hollywood on Wednesday night. The official review embargo for Wakanda Forever lifts on Nov. 8, but the social media embargo for early reactions lifted after the premiere.
Written and directed by Ryan Coogler, Wakanda Forever is a sequel to the filmmaker’s 2018 movie Black Panther and is the 30th feature film entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The first Black Panther movie was a global box office and cultural phenomenon, scoring $1.35 billion in ticket sales and earning an Oscar nomination for best picture.
The long-awaited follow-up to Black Panther has been delayed by the pandemic and the tragic and surprise death of Chadwick Boseman, who played T’Challa/Black Panther in the MCU. Boseman died from colon cancer on Aug. 28, 2020, after a private battle with the disease for four-plus years. Coogler, as well as Marvel chief Kevin Feige, were unaware of Boseman’s illness and had prepared the sequel with the actor as the cornerstone. Coogler wrote in his remembrance of Boseman: “I spent the last year preparing, imagining and writing words for him to say, that we weren’t destined to see. It leaves me broken knowing that I won’t be able to watch another close-up of him in the monitor again or walk up to him and ask for another take.”
The Hollywood Reporter reported that in the wake of Boseman’s death, Disney/Marvel chiefs did consider recasting the character of T’Challa but decided against it for fear of a fan backlash.
Wakanda Forever features returning stars Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Danai Gurira, Florence Kasumba, Angela Bassett and Martin Freeman. The film will also be the MCU debut of newcomers Tenoch Huerta as Namor and Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams/Ironheart.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to hit theaters on Nov. 11. Clocking in with a runtime of two hours and 41 minutes, the sequel will be the second-longest title in the MCU behind Avengers: Endgame.
Until official reviews drop next week, below is a sample of reactions from the world premiere posted to social media.