Yes, you read the title right. It seems that Shuri was always meant to inherit the title of Black Panther, but not in the way Chadwick Boseman‘s tragic death led the story. It seems that they originally wanted to have Letitia Wright‘s character also inherit the title and explore the dynamic that persists of two characters holding it at the same time.
Instead, the mantle has now been passed on due to T’Challa also passing away in the universe. So, the story had to take a different direction with her being the sole heir to the title and a surprising twist on who will rule Wakanda. In an interview with Empire, Wright got a chance to reflect on the original plans and the weight of carrying the title.
It was bittersweet. Shuri was always gonna do it. But it was gonna be done in a different way where her brother was gonna be alongside her, really explore that, like the comic books, the ways that T’Challa and Shuri would be Black Panther alongside each other and try to figure out how to defend their nation. But unfortunately that’s not how it panned out. I knew the responsibility, I knew the weight of it, but it was just bittersweet, something I struggled with a lot. But I’m extremely proud of myself, had great support.Letitia Wright
The more we hear about the original storyline behind Wakanda Forever, the more it seems that most of the pieces were always in place but had to reshape it surrounding a much stronger story of grief. It matched the overall theme of Phase 4 but it always leaves one wondering what could’ve been.