While the MCU is undoubtedly one of the biggest pop culture phenomenons of the last two decades, few single entries captured people the way “Black Panther” did when it was released in 2018. It is the highest-grossing non-Avengers Marvel movie, and it is currently the 12th-highest-grossing film in history, according to Box Office Mojo.
Featuring a nearly all-black cast and directed by Ryan Coogler, “Black Panther” is a very important movie for a lot of people. When he set out to tell the story of Wakanda, the fictional home of the Black Panther, Coogler understood exactly which genre he was tapping into, and it wasn’t something shown often on screen.
“Superhero films that deal with issues of being of African descent,” Coogler told Time during the film’s release.
“Black Panther 2” is set to be released on July 8, 2022, and is currently in pre-production, according to IMDb. Given the success of the first film, there are likely some well-known actors who would like a role in the sequel. If one unverified rumor is to be believed, one of Hollywood’s icons could be joining the cast.
Is Denzel Washington Signing on for ‘Black Panther 2’?
In a post on the subreddit “MarvelStudiosSpoiler,” a user shared a 4chan thread with 26 MCU rumors that the poster had learned of. Among the tidbits of information on the list was that Denzel Washington was in talks to have a role in the Black Panther sequel.
Washington is one of only four black men to have won an Oscar for best actor, but Chadwick Boseman, the star of “Black Panther” who passed away in 2020 after a four-year battle with cancer, is the presumed favorite to become the fifth member of that group for his work in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” When Washington was presented with the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award in 2019, Boseman was among those to speak about the importance of his career.
“There is no Black Panther without Denzel Washington,” Boseman said.
In that speech, Boseman revealed that Washington was the person who paid for his attendance at the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer program, giving added meaning to his powerful quote. Upon Boseman’s death, Washington issued a statement to CNN that illustrated just how deeply he respected Boseman’s work.
“He was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist, who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career,” Washington said. “God bless Chadwick Boseman.”
If the rumors are to be believed, Washington will have a hand in furthering Boseman’s legacy in “Black Panther 2.”
Will Killmonger Make a Return?
The other major Black Panther rumor listed in the subreddit was the return of Killmonger, the main antagonist in the first film, as the new Black Panther. Played by Michael B. Jordan, who received a large amount of praise for his portrayal of the character, Killmonger is killed at the end of “Black Panther.” But this is the world of comics we’re talking about, and it’s certainly not beyond the realm of possibility for Marvel to decided to revive Killmonger in the MCU, especially given the way he was received.
Following Boseman’s death, the mantle of Black Panther is currently vacant. In a tweet, Disney announced they would not be recasting Boseman’s role of T’Challa, so a newcomer will be donning the costume in the future.
There’s speculation Shuri (Letitia Wright), T’Challa’s younger sister, will be the next Black Panther, as she also has played the character at times in the comics. There are a variety of ways Marvel and Coogler can decide to go for the much-anticipated sequel, and it’s a decision fans are eagerly awaiting.