Article by Kieran Burt.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has had its second trailer released and it’s clear that director Ryan Coogler intends to go much bigger and bolder into the Afrofuturistic world of Wakanda. In this two-minute look, audiences get a greater look at the villain Namor, Riri Williams, and the new Black Panther suit.
The trailer opens with a greater look at T’Challa’s funeral, with Ramonda, T’Challa’s mum, carrying the helmet of T’Challa’s Black Panther suit, likely to bury it. The funeral sequence in the film is likely to be very emotional, as Chadwick Boseman meant so much to so many. Namor has dialogue over the scene, saying that “Only the most broken people can be great leaders.” This is followed by him taking the throne of Talocan, a departure from the comic books as Namor is best known for ruling Atlantis. It appears that Namor too has suffered previously, whether at the hand of Wakanda or an unknown force.
More shots pass, and there is one of Talocans attacking an oil rig. While their motivations are unclear, it’s possible there could be some environmentalist themes throughout the film or in preparation for an attack on Wakanda. In an interview with Empire Magazine, the actor for Namor, Tenoch Huerta, explains that Talocan will go to war with Wakanda because it feels threatened by their reveal to the world. This is great motivation, because it adheres to an explanation in international relations of why states go to war in real life, known as Offensive Realism.
M’baku, once again played by Winston Duke, describes the importance of Namor in his culture, suggesting that Wakanda has a limited understanding of their foe. He warns not to kill Namor, saying that it would risk eternal war between the two factions. This references the two countries in the comics, as they’re constantly at war.
Namor himself is shown in his full glory, and it’s an amazing look. He is flying with tiny wings on his boots, wearing a tribal necklace and wielding a tribal spear. He looks more in tune with the cultural influences that Ryan Coogler is going for with Talocan, rather than simple underwear than he wears in the comics. In the same interview for Empire Magazine, Huerta confirmed that Namor will retain his mutant origins, making him the first mutant to have a significant role in the MCU. His arrival will likely herald the entrance of others in future projects.
Another potential enemy for the film is the rest of the world. Wakanda now has a power vacuum, and the world now knows how valuable vibranium is. A brief shot depicts a currently unknown military attacking a Wakandan facility, taking hostages. How Wakanda manages to resolve this situation is likely going to take the first portion of the film, until Namor and Talocan reveal themselves. This element seeks to incorporate neo-colonialist ideas, though in a much more violent and overt way than in real life.
The last half of the trailer is more action heavy, depicting a car chase, and a scene where Namor attacks Wakanda. The streets are filled with water, hopefully signalling the start of the fight scene, involving Namor’s water units and Wakanian ground and air units. How a ground based juggernaut like Wakanda adapts to fighting a water based foe will be extremely interesting, as it’s a completely unfamiliar terrain. Especially if that terrain floods the city, as the trailer shows. Even the throne room is destroyed.
Audiences get a better look at Riri Williams’ (Ironheart) armour, though still not a frontal image. Her suit looks like it will be absolutely huge, judging by the amount of rockets it has attached to it, and the fact Riri is still very young. There is also an amazing shot of the new Black Panther suit, with it dropping from the ceiling. Who is wearing the suit is still a mystery, though it’s likely to be Shuri, T’Challa’s sister.
However, audiences will have to wait until Black Panther: Wakanda Forever releases on November 11, 2022 for the mystery to be revealed, and the devastating conflict between the two technologically advanced nations to begin.