The recently released Black Panther: Wakanda Forever sees a new character take up the mantle of the Black Panther following the unfortunate passing of Chadwick Boseman. In a new interview, Marvel Studios’ Nate Moore revealed how that person was chosen.
In Wakanda Forever, Shuri (played by Letitia Wright) is heartbroken after the death of her brother, T’Challa, after she is unable to synthetically recreate the heart-shaped herb. However, after initially shunning the suit and its powers to instead focus on technological advancements, Shuri does become the new Black Panther by the end of the film, creating a new heart-shaped herb and swearing to become Wakanda’s protector in the process.
Moore — who serves as Marvel Studios VP Of Production and Development — recently spoke with Marvel’s website about the changes to who the Black Panther is. According to him, the choice of Shuri as the Black Panther was always the most logical one from a storytelling perspective and also made the most sense due to how well Wright performs in her role.
“[Shuri] just felt like the most organic storytelling choice,” Moore said. “We had a performer that we knew could carry that if she agreed to do it. We didn’t really explore other options that thoroughly because this just felt like the right thing to do.”
Moore went on to say that Wright “wanted and wants to do right by this franchise” and that after initially being taken aback by the request to become the new Black Panther, she eventually understood what it meant not only for her character but for herself to do it.
“She understood A, what it means to people generally, and B, I think what this franchise meant to Chadwick, as an artist, and as a performer,” said Moore. “While I’m not sure that she ever envisioned herself donning the mantle and carrying this film, she was 100% game. I think that’s a credit to her and to her spirit. To come to her and say, ‘hey, we want to continue this franchise, and we think you’re the right person to be at the center of it’ was a big ask. But she was game for it and has never blanched from that responsibility as a storyteller.”
Wakanda Forever saw the return of most of Black Panther‘s original main cast, including Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Winston Duke as M’Baku, and Florence Kasumba as Ayo. Joining them were franchise newcomers Tenoch Huerta (Narcos: Mexico) as Namor, Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You) as Aneka, Mabel Cadena as Namora, and Alex Livinalli as Attuma.