Movies & TV Shows

MCU: 10 Movies & TV Shows Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Sets Up

WARNING! This List Contains Spoilers For Black Panther: Wakanda Forever!After months of anticipation since the first trailer dropped at San Diego Comic-Con, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is finally in theaters, and it’s already a certified success. With the second-largest opening weekend of 2022 behind Top Gun: Maverick, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever gives more hope for the future of the MCU. The next project up is The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, followed by Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania in February, launching Phase Five.

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever had a lot it had to tackle from remembering Chadwick Boseman and T’Challa’s legacy, while still pushing the franchise forward, to the introduction of several complex new characters, including Namor the Sub-Mariner. At this point, there isn’t any confirmation as to where most of these film’s characters will appear next, but fans can speculate and theorize. Thankfully, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is full of juicy details that signal where certain storylines are going from the most immediate like Ironheart to the hopeful things on the horizon such as X-Men.


Ironheart

An image of RiRi Williams in the Ironheart MCU Mark II armor

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever introduced audiences to the next great tech genius and hero, Riri Williams aka Ironheart. She acts as the film’s MacGuffin as she created the Vibranium detector and was thus desired dead by Namor for nearly exposing Talokan to the surface world. Fans won’t have to wait long to see her as she’s already getting her own Disney+ series, Ironheart, which could also see the return of other characters like Okoye or even Shuri.

It’s shown that she used Stark blueprints to build her first Ironheart suit, which enhanced the likelihood of her being connected to the storyline in Armor Wars if War Machine is eager for a smart new ally. While fans wait for confirmation on her subsequent involvement there, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, amidst all the serious drama, helped solidify fans’ interest in Ironheart – a difficult feat considering it’s only been six years since her debut in the comics.

Captain America: New World Order

Captain America in his new costume in TFATWS

An unexpected element in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was the inclusion of Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina Allegra de Fontaine as the new head of the CIA – and Everett Ross’ ex-wife. While it might seem the least to do with the actual plot and stakes of the film, it does have incredible implications for the future of the MCU. Her plans are clearly leading to Thunderbolts, but before that comes Captain America: New World Order.

It seems likely that this film will incorporate the world’s interest in Vibranium. With that, the fact that The Leader is returning from The Incredible Hulk, and the casting of Harrison Ford as Thunderbolt Ross aka Red Hulk, Captain America: New World Order is shaping up to focus on the arrival of many superpowered individuals around the world. That could come from gamma experiments, Vibranium, or both and could then lead to the incorporation of mutants.

Thunderbolts

An image of the Thunderbolts standing together in a line-up

As revealed alongside the trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the Thunderbolts are being led by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine – acting like their Nick Fury or Amanda Waller. Although Blade was pushed back and is not slated to close out Phase Five, Thunderbolts is still likely going to be a major crossover event in the MCU. Like Captain America: New World Order, Thunderbolts could be centered on the US’ attempts to access Vibranium.

Probably following Captain America: New World Order, Valentina will want to take a more direct approach and will send her team on a secret mission to obtain some. This could bring them in conflict with Wakanda and/or Talokan – although some fans are theorizing characters like Baron Zemo or Red Hulk will be the villain. If this is the course, it would present an interesting complication for Bucky Barnes, given his connection to Wakanda.

Okoye Disney+ Show

Okoye crying in Black Panther 2

Back in early 2021, a Disney+ series set in Wakanda was announced, and while there hasn’t been any updates since then, hopefully, now that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is out, it could pick up some steam. As to who deserves their own series, the obvious answer is Okoye. She is in a new place in her life following Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, having been stripped of her command of the Dora Milaje, so she is ready for some deeper exploration.

However, she is no true civilian as she now acts as a Midnight Sons – last seen breaking Everett Ross from US containment. This series could delve into her origins as a member of the Dora Milaje, their role in Wakandan culture, and her relationships with other characters like Aneka, Ayo, and W’Kabi, who got a shout-out in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Fans must still wait for confirmation, but it feels like a safe bet to expect to see more of Okoye in her own series.

Other Wakandan Disney+ Series

Black Panther Wakanda Forever Nakia Mbaku

Should they decide on someone else besides Okoye as the main protagonist for the proposed series – or better yet, there are even more in development – there are other characters worthy of the honor. Nakia and M’Baku are both primed for their true moment in the spotlight, whether together or on their own. M’Baku’s could focus on him as the new leader of Wakanda, seeing as Shuri presumably abdicated the throne.

Nakia’s has prospects like Okoye both in the past and the present. Of course, the incredible mid-credits scene introducing her and T’Challa’s son, Toussaint, would lend itself to a cool story. However, that might be something worth saving till Black Panther 3. In that case, it would be interesting to see what Nakia’s life was like before returning to Wakanda, particularly in the Blip during pregnancy. Whatever the case, whether Okoye, Nakia, and/or M’Baku, any potential spin-offs give a great opportunity to introduce additional compelling and intriguing Wakandans to the MCU.

Black Panther 3

The Black Panther mask on a black background

Of course, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever sets up Black Panther 3. The biggest question and concern many fans had beforehand revolved around the future of the character T’Challa – some wanted him to be recast given his importance to the fanbase, while others wanted him to remain dead to honor Chadwick Boseman. At this point, it looks like the MCU is going down that route, but since it’s the Multiverse Saga, nothing is really off the table when it comes to recasting down the road.

Black Panther 3 would be a perfect avenue to continue exploring Shuri as Black Panther and her relationship with her nephew, besides what will probably be shown in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and/or Avengers: Secret Wars. Likely, however, this won’t be coming anytime soon. There are only a few projects yet to be confirmed in Phase Six, so fans should probably expect to see this story until Phase Seven. Intriguingly, there’s prospect for another time jump, so Toussaint could be a teen or young adult by then, and thus possibly worthy of the mantle of Black Panther.

Namor

Namor holding onto a spear in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Coming out of the theater the biggest question fans now have is where they can expect to see Namor next, and specifically when the Namor film is coming. Tenoch Huerta is utterly electrifying as Namor, so he and the detailed story behind Talokan have fans around the world interested in seeing more. He does deserve his own film, given his prominence and role in the comics, so it’s just a matter of time at this point.

A Namor film would allow for more examination and enhancement of Talokan’s history, culture, and people, giving more attention to Namora and Attuma in addition to Namor. If it is at all possible, this is a project many fans are eager to occupy one of the missing slots in Phase Six, even over Black Panther 3.

Vision Quest

Vision opens his eyes in WandaVision

Recently, Marvel announced a new Disney+ series in development called Vision Quest, clearly focused on Vision following his return to WandaVision. Like other projects of their kind, Wonder Man and Nova, Vision Quest is likely slated for a Phase Six release in 2025 or 2026. Unexpectedly, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever does have an interesting link to a potential story element through Shuri’s AI.

Many viewers might not be aware that The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah voiced the AI, Griot, in both Black Panther and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. While he’ll likely not feature in Vision Quest, other AIs very well could. Shuri even says that AIs won’t ever revolt like in the movies – clearly missing the tea on what happened in Avengers: Age of Ultron – but she could be proved wrong again in Vision Quest.

X-Men

deadpool x-men

When WandaVision started, many fans were expecting it to bring mutants and even the X-Men into the fray. While that obviously didn’t happen, the MCU in 2022 did have several prominent teases to their arrival. From Professor X in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness to the revelation about Kamala Khan in Ms. Marvel, and now the moment when Namor said “I was a mutant,” the franchise is gearing up for X-Men.

It is appropriate that Namor, one of Marvel’s first original characters and the first published mutant, is the first person in the MCU to say the word “mutant”. This might not mean he actually has any involvement in the X-Men, but it does signal their impending arrival. X-Men – or whatever the first mutant-centric film is called – could come out of Deadpool 3 as some theorize, or it might not be possible until after Avengers: Secret Wars.

Ka-Zar

Ka-Zar, Shanna and Zabu in the jungle with philosoraptors in the background

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s establishment of world governments greedy for Vibranium holds several incredibly interesting prospects for future projects. One sees them set their sights southward to Antarctica and the secret oasis of the Savage Land, home to dinosaurs, ape-men, and the hero, Ka-Zar. This might be a long shot, but it seems like they’re subtly laying the foundation for his introduction farther down the line – enhanced by an easter egg in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Ka-Zar would be a cool choice for a new Special Presentation like Werewolf by Night as it could succinctly focus on his origins, the Savage Land, and related characters like Zabu and Shanna the She-Devil. This would allow the peculiar character to shine on his own before he gets caught up in and muddled by the MCU’s grand scope.

NEXT: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – 12 Best Twitter Reactions

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