It seems like Black Panther was released a thousand years ago. There’s been so many movies released in the MCU since. We’re all still living in the Endgame hype and now we have Spider-Man: Far from Home in our midst. Even though it seems like forever ago, Black Panther was released in February 2018 and since then there has been much speculation over a sequel. A sequel that is clearly needed. After Black Panther came the two ‘biggies’ of the MCU, Infinity War and Endgame, all the hype within the MCU for well over a year has revolved around these two movies. So, it’s of no surprise that Black Panther wasn’t elaborated on. We did of course see the major characters of Black Panther in the two Avengers movies, however, we were left with a lot of questions unanswered. A sequel to Black Panther should be able to answer at least some of these questions for audiences.
As it stands, the MCU has lost its big frontrunners with the death of Iron Man and the loss of Captain America. Thor is possibly somewhere in space, Asguarding the Galaxy and as for the Hulk, who really knows if he’ll step up. Wakanda has some fantastic leaders, and now that they have been better established in the Universe, it would be great to see the likes of Okeye, Shuri, Nakia and of course, T’Challa have a more central role in the Avengers as a whole. To see these characters, step up and take charge, like we know they are capable of, would make for some exciting viewing and a great cinematic experience. As well as this there is the general intrigue surrounded Wakanda and its inhabitants that should be addressed. Black Panther was a very plot heavy movie, with much of it being T’Challa VS Killmonger. It provided some epic fight scenes and a relatively brief glimpse into Wakanda itself. It certainly left me, and many others wanting to see more of Wakanda.
Another aspect of Wakanda and the whole Black Panther world that would be worth exploring is what happened after Thanos’ snap in Infinity War. We know now that there were some Wakandan’s who survived and were likely to have taken control of their state, namely: Okeye, Shuri, Ramonda and M’Baku. Although it’s unlikely that we will get an insight to life after the snap, it would certainly bring some clarity and closure to fans. We only received a very brief insight into the effect that Thanos’ mass murder had on Earth through the eyes of Scott Lang, everyone’s favourite ant, but it would be interesting to see the effect it had on Wakanda and other places, and how each civilisation dealt with this and led the remaining people. Did Wakanda thrive or barely survive? Did the remaining people of Wakanda maintain their aesthetically pleasing environment? Or did it look like a dusty, garbage ridden mess like America did in Endgame? We need answers, and hopefully a sequel will give them to us.
Talking of aesthetically pleasing, how could we forget that Black Panther was the first Marvel movie to be nominated for Best Picture? As well as this, it became the first MCU movie to win not just one Academy Award but three, as well as being nominated for countless others, chiefly in terms of design. This is a fantastic feat for comic book movies, particularly when you take into consideration that Black Panther is the most diverse movie of its type. The cast and crew are largely made up of POC, and two of the Oscar wins – Best Achievement in Costume Design and Best Achievement in Production Design – were won by Black women.
Ruth E. Carter (Costume Design) and Hannah Beachler (Production Design) were the first people of colour to win these awards, and that in itself is a major achievement. Black Panther’s director and writers are also POC, introducing some diversity amongst the predominantly white directors of other movies in the MCU. The fact that Black Panther has the highest accolades of any other Marvel movie suggests to me that perhaps a more diverse cast and crew should be utilised in future productions. It also insinuates that any sequels to the movie will be just as high quality.
Related to this is the fact that Black Panther was set in Africa. Okay, so Wakanda may be totally fictional, but nonetheless, it is certainly modelled after countries in Africa and that is ground-breaking. Oftentimes, onscreen portrayals and depictions of Africa are not true to life. Africa is repeatedly falsely represented as a poor, undeveloped, “third-world” nation. This stereotype is extremely harmful, untrue and downright offensive to the wonderful nation of Africa and its plentiful cultures, different countries, advances in many fields of work and of course, its people. In an online article for The Telegraph, Zoah Hedges-Stocks encapsulates the feelings of African people all over the continent, writing: “Wakanda, may be a fictional African nation, but the countries that inspired it are celebrating the film’s release and the depiction of various African cultures on screen.” The key phrase here is “various African cultures” as Black Panther shows audiences worldwide that Africa is not just Africa, it is made up of many wonderful countries. Black Panther actress Sope Aluke told The Vanguard: “Usually in Hollywood, you’re just African. They will use a Nigerian actor with a Nigerian accent to play a Kenyan character or vice versa”, demonstrating that representation was clearly at the forefront of the creators’ minds. It was a very important movie, culturally, so the hope would be that any sequels to the movie would also have that same level of representation, if not, even more!
In all, there certainly are numerous, varying reasons for a sequel to the award-winning movie. Not only would it add even more, much needed diversity to the Marvel franchise, but it would also answer lots of questions for Marvel fans. A film as aesthetically pleasing, culturally important and downright brilliant as this, especially if there’s more of the story to be told, certainly warrants a sequel.