How do you continue a franchise without its star? How do you carry on after an unexpected death? These are the questions hanging over Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the sequel to the game-changing Marvel smash, perhaps the MCU’s most acclaimed entry. It was made after the passing of Chadwick Boseman, and it required some dramatic reworking since its titular hero was no longer with us (and, of course, would not be recast). Judging from its first teaser, it will in no way ignore the loss.
The trailer dropped at San Diego Comic-Con, and it’s a bittersweet affair, anchored in grief. We see returning faces — Angela Bassett’s Queen Mother Ramonda, Letitia Wright’s Shuri, Danai Gurira’s Okoye, Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia — but they’re reflective, staring weightily at something off-screen, bathed in gorgeous, natural light. Eventually we see him: T’Challa’s face on a mural. And we know that he’s gone but not forgotten.
But they can’t mourn forever. There’s a new threat: an underwater people led by Namor (Tenoch Huerta), who force them to rise to battle. Action gradually takes over the teaser, even as the characters are steeped in mourning. It’s a beautiful tribute to the late star, and even at two minutes it might be the most visually ravishing thing the MCU has yet produced.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on November 11. You can watch the teaser in the video above.