It’s been three years since the last in-person San Diego Comic Con and Marvel Studios pulled out all the stops for its panel in Hall H, giving us a jam-packed overview of Phases Four, Five, and Six in the MCU. We got a new trailer for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, and those in attendance were able to view exclusive sneak peek teasers for Ant-Man: Quantumania, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and a new crossover series event called Secret Invasion. The panel ended with the first teaser for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Wakanda Forever was already in development when Chadwick Boseman—who played T’Challa in 2018’s Black Panther—died of colon cancer in August 2020. Director Ryan Coogler, Marvel’s Kevin Feige, and many others had been unaware that Boseman was even ill. They decided not to recast T’Challa, nor would they try to insert the character using visual effects, although most of the other main cast members are returning. “His portrayal… is iconic and transcends any iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past,” Feige said in a December 2020 statement.
The finished film is in many ways a tribute to Boseman, and the trailer evokes that sense of loss, set to an almost elegiac cover of “No Woman No Cry.” There’s even a shot of a street mural honoring a deceased T’Challa. T’Challa’s mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) are grieving the loss of their brother, with Ramonda currently sitting on the throne. “I am queen of the most powerful nation in the world and my entire family is gone,” she says in the only lines of dialogue. “Have I not given everything?”