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SYFY WIRE Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Will Marvel make a 'Black Panther 3'? Kevin Feige's had 'conversations' with Ryan Coogler about it

Odds are pretty good that Wakanda's protector will return, but will Coogler return to direct or simply produce?

By Josh Weiss
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever isn't even out yet, but we'd be willing to bet good money that the clawed superhero will return in a third standalone feature at Marvel Studios — especially if the new movie fulfills early box office estimates with an opening haul of $175 - $200 million domestically. For comparison, the 2018 original bowed to just over $200 million in North America and went on to make over $1 billion worldwide. Its monumental box office success and profound cultural impact (including an Oscar nod for Best Picture) cannot be understated.

The prospect of a Black Panther 3 doesn't seem too far-fetched, but the involvement of Ryan Coogler remains in question. Will the filmmaker return to write and direct another installment, or will he decide to take a more hands-off approach in the role of a producer? Discussing the production of Wakanda Forever with Variety, MCU head honcho Kevin Feige revealed that he's already had early "conversations" with Coogler about tackling a third chapter in the Black Panther saga. Right now, however, nothing is set in stone.

“I can tell you definitively I have no idea what I’m doing next,” said Coogler, who struck a five-year production deal with Marvel early last year. The partnership includes a currently-untitled series about the technologically-advanced nation of Wakanda, as well as the Ironheart show starring Dominique Thorne as brilliant inventor Riri Williams (the character makes her official MCU arrival in Wakanda Forever). Whispers of Coogler being eyed for the job of directing Avengers: Secret Wars are untrue — at least for the time being.

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“It’s very difficult because you’re exhausted and emotionally spent, and I’m trying to give it all my full attention,” the writer-director added, referring to the onerous work of finishing and promoting the first sequel, which had to reconcile the untimely passing of Chadwick Boseman (King T'Challa). “After that, I’ll figure out what’s going on with me. But I think it’s going to be some rest and family time.”

Set in the immediate aftermath of T'Challa's death, Wakanda Forever finds the titular country placed at odds with Talokan, an underwater kingdom ruled by Namor (Tenoch Huerta Mejía). Despite opening itself up to the world after centuries of secrecy, Wakanda refuses to share its cache of Vibranium, lest the precious metal be turned into weapons of mass destruction. Bitter and angry, jealous superpowers begin to feverishly search for Vibranium deposits in other parts of the globe, particularly within the depths of the ocean, which threatens the sovereignty of Talokan. 

“Ryan wanted to put the amount of effort and love in what is now Talokan in the same way he did with Wakanda,” explained producer Nate Moore. “He was looking for another culture to serve as an anchor point, and to continue the conversation thematically about colonization and what that means.”

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens in theaters everywhere this Friday, Nov. 11.

Looking for more superhero action in the meantime? All four seasons of Heroes are now streaming on Peacock.