Disney and Marvel Studios finally unveiled Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” at the film’s world premiere in Hollywood on Wednesday evening. First reactions are emerging online now and they are overwhelmingly positive. It appears there wasn’t a dry eye in the theater during the film’s 160-minute runtime.
Anticipation for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” has been sky high. The first entry was one of the biggest hits in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, grossing $700 million at the domestic box office and $1.3 billion worldwide. “Black Panther” also became the first comic book movie nominated for best picture at the Oscars.
The sequel, which pits the nation of Wakanda against Namor and the undersea nation of Talokan, stars Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Dominique Thorne, Florence Kasumba, Michaela Coel, Tenoch Huerta, Martin Freeman and Angela Bassett. The film’s events follow the death of King T’Challa, who was played by the late Chadwick Boseman in prior Marvel entries. Boseman died in 2020 after a private battle with colon cancer.
“It is an incredible honor for Chadwick Boseman, it’s jam packed with exciting stuff,” Wright told Variety earlier this year about the film. “We honored him by committing ourselves to the story that he started, the legacy that he started with this franchise. We just committed every day to working hard, no matter what circumstances we faced — and we faced a lot of circumstances, a lot of difficult situations — but we came together as a team, and we poured everything into this movie.”
Coogler admitted earlier this month that he nearly quit the movie after Boseman’s passing, saying, “It hurt a lot. I was like, ‘Man, how could I open myself up to feeling like this again?’ I was poring over a lot of conversations that we had, towards what I realized was the end of his life. I decided that it made more sense to keep going.”
Variety awards editor Clayton Davis called the film “a beautiful tribute to Chadwick Boseman” and highlighted Angela Bassett as a highlight of the ensemble. “Don’t know about Oscars” though.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Brian Davids hailed the film as “Marvel’s most poignant and powerful film to date,” praising all elements from the performances to the crafts. The Wrap’s Drew Taylor said that the film “prioritizes sentiment over spectacle” and praised Ludwig Göransson’s score as “an all timer.”
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” opens in theaters nationwide Nov. 11.