Marvel Studios returns us to Wakanda in what very well may be the last trailer for Black Panther, as we're a little more than a month away from its theatrical release.
The new spot aired during the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship on ESPN after rapper Kendrick Lamar played the game's halftime show. It made a lot of sense to drop the trailer after his performance, as it was recently announced that Lamar would play a major role in producing and curating the movie's soundtrack. As he finished, he gave Black Panther a shoutout in his mic drop, which was immediately followed by the trailer.
The new action-packed spot, titled "Rise," is basically a really cool reminder that tickets for the film have finally gone on sale. In the minute-and-a-half commercial, we see T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) being welcomed as the new king of Wakanda, and the villain of Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) up to no good. "I want your weapons, your secrets," says a menacing Killmonger, and based on the footage of him in his own Panther suit, he gets both.
There's also Wakandan warriors running into battle, numerous explosions, and better looks at Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, and Forest Whitaker. You can watch the full spot below:
Directed by Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed), the film finds T'Challa returning to his technologically advanced African homeland after the events of Captain America: Civil War. He's got a lot to learn as the country's new king, while also trying to stop a plot by villains Erik "Killmonger" Stevens and the one-armed Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis, whose character was first introduced in Age of Ultron), two very classic Panther baddies.
Plus, not everyone is happy that T'Challa's taken over his father's throne, like M'Baku (Winston Duke), leader of the Jabari, a Wakandan mountain-based tribe. T'Challa is pulling double duty as Wakanda's ruler and its protector, the latter under the guise of Black Panther. There's also a question of whether Cap (Chris Evans) or Bucky (Sebastian Stan) will have cameos in this movie, because they were offered sanctuary in Wakanda at the end of Civil War.
Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, and Forest Whitaker make up the rest of the all-star cast; respectively, they play Nakia (an undercover agent of the Dora Milaje), Okoye (head of the Dora Milaje), Everett K. Ross (CIA member), W'Kabi (T'Challa's best friend), Shuri (T'Challa's sister and princess/tech-designer of Wakanda), Ramonda (T'Challa's mother and queen of Wakanda), and Zuri (an elderly Wakandan statesman).
In particular, Coogler described Whitaker's character as a connection to T'Chaka and the "Obi-Wan Kenobi" of the Panther universe, a fitting description as the 56-year-old actor was in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story last year as the Rebel leader Saw Gerrera.
Black Panther opens in theaters on Friday, Feb. 16.