BY ATHENA LE
Black Panther 2 fan art imagines Letitia Wright’s Shuri in the Black Panther suit, taking over the role from the late Chadwick Boseman.
New Black Panther 2 fan art imagines Letitia Wright’s Shuri in the suit previously worn by T’Challa, her on-screen brother and real-life close friend, the late Chadwick Boseman. Boseman changed the game for the MCU in 2014 when it was announced that he’d play T’Challa in Captain America: Civil War. His 2018 solo film Black Panther, directed by Ryan Coogler, went on to become the highest grossing non-Avengers Marvel film. Unfortunately, the wait for the Black Panther sequel took a tragic turn in August when Boseman passed away from a secret battle with colon cancer. While grieving over losing a talented and profound trailblazer, fans are also nervous about how Marvel Studios will handle the future of the franchise. Thankfully, the studio will not recast the role of T’Challa, nor will it use a CGI version of Boseman, as both scenarios would leave audiences with an insufficient depiction of a beloved character played by an irreplaceable actor.
Some Marvel fans have rallied around one such way to properly honor Boseman’s legacy in Black Panther 2, which is to have Shuri take on the title of the Black Panther. Not only is Shuri the younger sister of T’Challa, she is also extremely intelligent, resourceful, and quick. She has unmatched knowledge of Wakanda and vibranium – the powerful resource powering their nation – and she is the creator of all the tech T’Challa uses in the previous films. She also mirrors T’Challa’s humor and wit, likely stemming from Wright and Boseman’s actual friendship. Furthermore, the original Black Panther comics actually see Shuri become the Black Panther.
A new piece of fan art actually puts Shuri in the Black Panther suit. Created by ultraraw26, the image features Shuri’s side profile while wearing all the armor except the helmet, which she holds in her hands with the eyes looking back at her. T’Challa is in background with his head down and arms forming the Wakanda salute. You can see the full image below.
It is unsurprising that fans want to see Shuri as the new Black Panther as she stole the show in a number of scenes throughout Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. That said, Wright recently ran into some controversy when she shared an anti-vaccination video, which she has since deleted and apologized for. Although people were understandably upset with her for using her platform to spread misinformation, the remorse she showed hopefully means Wright has reconsidered her stance.
With that controversy behind her, hopefully Wright can take on the role of the Black Panther. Not only will it properly honor Boseman’s legacy, it also fits with the MCU’s decided push to have more female leads. Although there has been more inclusion of super women lately, Captain Marvel is still the only MCU film completely dedicated to a female lead until Black Widow comes out.
The famously secretive Marvel Studios have not revealed anything about the story of Black Panther 2, but it has been confirmed that the original supporting cast will return, including Wright as Shuri, Lupita N’Yongo as Nakia, Angela Basset as T’Challa’s mother Ramonda, and Winston Duke as Jabari tribe leader M’Baku. Filming is set to start in Georgia in June of this year, with hopes for a theatrical release in mid-2022. With those dates approaching – and no word of a new actor in the film besides Narcos: Mexico‘s Tenoch Huerta as the villain – it is completely possible the studio plans to make Shuri the new titular character.