Though she says it will be a while before it hits the screen, Black Panther star Letitia Wright’s assertion that a third installment in the franchise is “already in the works” has us thinking about the future! Black Panther: Wakanda Forever left a lot of paths to be explored in the future and some characters being introduced in other properties make for some interesting speculation about what stories Ryan Coogler may have in mind for Black Panther 3. Here are a few that we’d like to see on the big screen.
Black Panther: Enemy of the State
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s touching post-credit scene in which Shuri met her nephew, T’Challa II, in Haiti captured the hearts of audiences and made good on the film’s subtitle. It also opens the doors to exploring a topic addressed by Christopher Priest during his epic run on Black Panther: what happens within a country when its leader spends significant time away from it. In the comics, a sudden public scandal forced T’Challa to leave Wakanda for an extended time. In his absence, a wily refugee by the name of Achebe lead a coup and took over governing Wakanda…with a little help from Mephisto!
Black Panther: Enemy of the State could adapt this fairly easily, given Shuri’s absence from Wakanda. A coup by Achebe would also give Winston Duke‘s M’Baku a major role in the film, given that he was last seen serving as the king regent of Wakanda. With Sacha Baron Cohen reportedly signing a multi-projecet deal with Marvel Studios to play Mephisto, the time is right for this classic Preist story to make its way to the big screen. Letting Achebe go full-on talk-to-the-hand-puppet crazy while having Mephisto pulling the strings would provide an unexpected change-of-pace for the franchise.
Black Panther: The People
Thematically, Black Panther: The People may seem a little similar to Enemy of the State, but there are enough little differences to make a case for choosing to adopt this arc from Ta-Nehisi Coates‘ run on Black Panther. Black Panther saw the government taken over from within; Wakanda Forever saw the devastation of the country; The People could easily be the logical next step. Since the passing of King T’Chaka, Wakanda has, to put it lightly, had a rough go. Killmonger’s time as Black Panther, as it turns out, was the least of their concerns. T’Challa’s friendship with the Avengers led to Wakanda becoming a focal point of Thanos’ invasion (the aftermath of which was entirely hand-waved away) and Namor’s attack cost Wakandan lives outside of the Royal Family. The people of Wakanda have had enough and are, perhaps, ready to take things into their own hands…with a little help.
The MCU has yet to explore how other African nations view Wakanda, something Reginald Hudlin did wonderfully in his run on Black Panther. Hudlin introduced the neighboring, authoritarian nation of Niganda and with it, a centuries long grudge between it and Wakanda over, you guessed it, resources. Though The People would see a revolt from within Wakanda, the country of Niganda would play a key role as well while examining the philosophical arguments around types of governance. Coates’ run introduced Tetu, a Wakandan with strong anti-monarchical beliefs, and Zenzi, a Nigandan empath who used her powers to incite riots. The plot of this one, as they say, writes itself. The disillusioned Tetu finds his anti-monarchical movement growing following the multiple tragedies brought to Wakanda by the Royal Family. His movement draws the attention of Zenzi, who uses her powers to stir the people into a revolt, all the while serving the end goals of the brutal Nigandan Prime Minister, M’Butu, who seeks to take ownership of Wakanda’s resources.
Black Panther: Invasion
Heavily hinted at in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, CIA Director Valentina Allegra de Fontaine wants what Wakanda has: Vibranium. For playing such an integral part in the MCU, the Great Mound really hasn’t been featured much outside of a few minutes of screentime in Black Panther. It’s rumored that 2024’s Thunderbolts will see Val’s team of Super Soldiers and spies head to the Tiamut’s corpse to gather up another valuable natural resource: Adamantium. Adamantium would make a pretty suitable replacement for Vibranium, which is now under the joint protection of Talokan and Wakanda, and so Val’s pursuit of it makes sense. Of course, there’s another rumor about that movie that would make it pretty tough for the Tbolts to do their job, meaning they might come home empty handed.
Should Val fail to obtain some Adamantium, she may get desperate and, as you know, desperate time call for Deathlok. As the director of the ever-so-shady CIA, Val would know all about the long-since-abandoned Project: Alpha-Mech. A simple plot could see Val provoking a neighboring nation, perhaps the aforementioned Niganda, to attempt an invasion of Wakanda. The U.S. Government could then offer to “assist” Wakanda by sending in a unit of their Very Special Forces: a team of Deathloks. As cyborgs, Deathloks could be easily manipulated to obey the whims of their person-in-the-chair. Fans of the comics might recognize this as an adaptation of Reginald Hudlin‘s “Who Is the Black Panther?” arc. It would be a wild, wild ride to see on screen!