Marvel Star Says Wakanda Forever Will "Top" the First Black Panther

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is "going to top" the first movie, so says the Queen Mother of Wakanda. Angela Bassett, who reprises her role as Ramonda in the new movie from returning writer-director Ryan Coogler, says the sequel hopes to "raise the standard" despite the loss of Chadwick Boseman's King T'Challa. Marvel Studios has confirmed Wakanda Forever will not recast Boseman, who died in August 2020 at the age of 43 after a battle with cancer. During a recent appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Bassett teased the sequel set to open in theaters later this year from Disney-Marvel. 

"It is [difficult without Boseman], he was such an example, such a leader. We just hope to raise the standard," said Bassett, who plays the mother of Boseman's character and Princess Shuri (Letitia Wright). 

Bassett can "absolutely not" reveal anything about the sequel rumored to pit the Wakandans against Namor the Sub-Mariner, saying only that Wakanda Forever is "going to be amazing. It's going to top [the first] one."

Returning Black Panther cast members include Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, and Martin Freeman. Dominique Thorne (If Beale Street Could Talk, Judas and the Black Messiah) is new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the role of Riri Williams, a.k.a. genius inventor Ironheart, ahead of her Disney+ spinoff series

"We're excited about [Black Panther 2]. Of course, we still have a little, you know, we feel some kind of way in our heart, of course. So every day is just a testament and a love fest for our dear [Boseman]," Bassett previously told Entertainment Tonight. "We still have Ryan and Joe Robert Cole, who wrote Black Panther 1, so the two of them, these men, these brothers, they're going to bring it. They love Black Panther, they love what they started. As they say, 'Finish the way you started.' They started great and they're going to do this one well as well."

Previously scheduled for July 8, Marvel Studios will release Black Panther: Wakanda Forever only in theaters on November 11.