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VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Wakanda Forever! Let's just hope we don't have to wait that long to see it. For this list, we'll be looking at key details that one should keep in mind before heading in to see this highly anticipated Marvel sequel. Our countdown includes Chadwick Boseman, Possible Marvel Cameos, Ironheart, and more!

#10: Wakanda Out in the Open

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As of this writing, hardly anything is known plot-wise about this upcoming feature. But what we can go off of is what came before. Specifically, the ending of the first “Black Panther” movie. After centuries of Wakanda’s technological advancements being kept in the shadows, newfound King T’Challa learns a lesson from the villainous Killmonger in that it’s partly their responsibility to help those less fortunate around the world. The post-credit scene shows him addressing the U.N. to convey as much, and we might finally get a good idea at what Wakanda’s new vision of the world is. While “Infinity War” and “Endgame” later showed Wakanda lending a huge help to the Avengers, this should be where we get the full realization of T’Challa’s promise.

#9: Chadwick Boseman

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Of course, much of the discussion around “Wakanda Forever” can’t be had without touching upon a real-life tragedy. In 2020, T’Challa actor Chadwick Boseman suddenly passed away after a private battle with colon cancer. This of course put Marvel in a position they’d never before encountered: how to press on without the irreplaceable talents of their lead star. While we’ll break down how that might affect the story later on, fans can expect a deeply touching experience. When describing the sequel, several high-profile names involved with the project have called it a moving tribute to the late actor. We don’t know exactly what that’ll look like, but we wouldn’t ask for anything less.

#8: W’Kabi

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We’re interested in seeing the progression of many characters in “Wakanda Forever,” but if there’s one whose arc from the first movie still needs to be addressed, it’s W’Kabi. Played by now-Academy Award winner Daniel Kaluuya, W’Kabi was the head of security for the Border Tribe and a longtime friend of T’Challa. But his deep dissatisfaction with Wakandan strength and Killmonger’s rise to power saw the warrior align with the nascent radical. His stubbornness has him fight for Killmonger, but he is ultimately talked down by his wife Okoye. It’s implied he and others from the Border Tribe were incarcerated, but a lot might’ve changed in the wake of the Blip, and we’re definitely eager to find out what it all means for W’Kabi.

#7: Namor

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That’s right, folks. After years of movie rights being murkily tied up with Universal, we’re finally getting Namor the Sub-Mariner in the MCU. Though you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s just a knockoff Aquaman, this son of Atlantis is anything but. Often portrayed as an anti-hero in the comics, it’s been reported that Namor will fill an antagonist role in “Wakanda Forever.” Played by Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta (ten-NOACH WARE-tah), Namor could fit in well as the movie explores the reach of Wakanda and its potential clash with another secret civilization. Whether or not it has to do with that underwater earthquake remains to be seen.

#6: Filming Locations

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Beginning with the first “Ant-Man” movie, Trilith Studios (trill-ith) in Atlanta has served as a recurring filming location for Marvel Studios, with many Wakandan scenes shot there already. Whereas its involvement in “Wakanda Forever” is unsurprising, two other locations pique our interest for different reasons. Massachusetts may seem like another ho-hum destination, but the fact that they shot specifically at MIT makes us wonder if we won’t see Ned and MJ hanging out on-campus. There’s seemingly no reason for their memory-wiped characters to be in the movie, but we can dream. Lastly, Puerto Rico where production wrapped has us feeling an Atlantis connection, and it should be mentioned Huerta reportedly learned a Mayan language to play Namor.

#5: Possible Marvel Cameos

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Whenever a new Marvel movie hits the screen, we’re always curious as to which familiar characters they’ll bring into the fold to represent the larger universe. While we wouldn’t want the story to get too distracted, there are a couple potential candidates to consider. First, “I May Destroy You” star Michaela Coel has been cast in an “undisclosed role,” leading many to speculate she’s the mutant Storm. The “X-Men” character was even married to T’Challa in the comics, though the latter’s potential absence could change things here. Second is the new Captain America, Sam Wilson. Despite visiting the set, actor Anthony Mackie has reported he’s not in the movie, which we’ve definitely heard before.

#4: Ironheart

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One new character we do know will appear is Riri Williams, also known as Ironheart. Played by “Judas and the Black Messiah” star Dominique Thorne, Riri Williams is a teenager known for creating her own flight and combat suit that rivals Tony Stark’s Iron Man armor. Following Tony’s exit from the MCU, this could be a really fun way to continue the Iron Man legacy. And if we had to guess, this is where the MIT scenes come into play. Beyond “Wakanda Forever” though, this will be the soft launch of Riri prior to her own “Ironheart” Disney+ series which will likely be coming in 2023. So for anyone who likes her here, there’s definitely more to come.

#3: Wakanda Series

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Speaking of Disney+, we’ve also got a whole series on the nation of Wakanda to look forward to. One of the joys of the first “Black Panther” movie was seeing such a fresh, vibrant world coming to life before our eyes, so to hear that we’ll be getting long-term storytelling to explore it further has us incredibly excited. Not quite as deep in development as other upcoming shows, not many specifics are known. But the writer-director of the first two movies Ryan Coogler will be returning to develop it in some capacity, so we know it’s in good hands. It’s also been reported that Danai Gurira will reprise her role as Okoye in what’s been called an “origin spin-off” of sorts for her character.

#2: T’Challa Not Recast

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It’s definitely a tricky issue when it comes to potentially recasting a role after an actor passes away. While other franchises have found success doing this in making sure the character continues, Marvel has decided not to recast T’Challa in respect for Chadwick Boseman’s legacy. Upon announcing this decision, Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige said Boseman’s portrayal is “iconic and transcends any iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel's past.” He’s certainly not wrong, though some fans think it should be recast, including Boseman’s brother Derrick, who believes Boseman would’ve wanted T’Challa to live on. In any case, this wide-ranging debate likely won’t end with “Wakanda Forever.”

#1: The Next Black Panther

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It’s safe to say that T’Challa won’t be in the new movie. Still, it is still called “Black Panther,” which raises the question as to who will take up the mantle in this outing. Conventional wisdom would suggest that responsibility would pass to T’Challa’s sister Shuri, who’s been known to act as Black Panther in the comics in T’Challa’s absence. It’s already been reported that Shuri actor Letitia Wright will have a larger role in the sequel, so this could be what they’re talking about. Other fans have theorized it could be Winston Duke’s M'Baku or even Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger, despite the latter character being currently deceased. Whoever’s in the suit, we expect a thrilling ride all the same.

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