Black Panther, the 2018 Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film, was a landmark in the superhero film genre. It was directed by Ryan Coogler and starred the late Chadwick Boseman as King T'Challa of Wakanda.
The film, which celebrated African culture, was a critical and commercial success, breaking several barriers. The film's soundtrack was equally impactful, featuring music from Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, and SZA, among others, mostly incorporating African-inspired themes.
The death of Chadwick Boseman in 2020 was a tragedy felt across the world. Nevertheless, Marvel decided to continue the story of the Panther Warrior with a sequel, Wakanda Forever, which was released in November 2022.
The film, which was a tribute to Boseman and celebrated the character's legacy, also introduced a new Black Panther, T'Challa's sister Shuri, and set the stage for the possibility of a sequel, Black Panther 3.
However, the current question on the minds of Marvel fans is: will there be a third movie in this franchise? The answer is not yet clear, but the events of Wakanda Forever and the MCU trends suggest that it is likely to happen eventually.
Will there be a Black Panther 3?
While Marvel has not officially confirmed the third installment in the franchise, it is widely believed that the sequel will eventually happen, as Wakanda Forever's events have set up several story threads and character arcs for a potential sequel.
Additionally, the post-credits scene of Wakanda Forever promises that "Black Panther will return." Producer Nate Moore has also confirmed that ideas for a third film have been discussed.
Release date prediction
As of now, there is no official release date for Black Panther 3. Given the four-year gap between the first film and Wakanda Forever, it is likely that the sequel will not hit theaters for a few more years.
However, Marvel has many unfilled release dates in the near future, including several dates in 2026. While it is impossible to predict with certainty, one of these slots could likely be an option for the release date.
Story setup after Wakanda Forever
Wakanda Forever has set up several intriguing storylines for a potential sequel. The movie ends with M'Baku challenging the throne, which could become the central conflict of Black Panther 3. Shuri's role as the new Black Panther is another important plotline that could be explored further.
There are also reports that Doctor Doom, a classic villain from the comics, could play a role in the sequel, given that the Midnight Angels, who were introduced in the second film, have a history of fighting against Doom in the comics. Finally, Prince T'Challa, the son of King T'Challa and Nakia, is another potential storyline that could be explored in a third film.
When will Black Panther appear next in the MCU?
While fans eagerly await the release of the third part, there is a possibility that the character could appear in other MCU projects before the sequel.
Shuri as the Black Panther may return in the upcoming Avengers: The Kang Dynasty team-up event or in the Disney+ series Ironheart. Regardless, fans of the franchise will have plenty to look forward to in the coming years.
What to expect from Black Panther 3?
Wakanda Forever is structured around loss and grief, and Black Panther 3 will likely continue to explore these themes. Given the introduction of new characters such as Shuri and Prince T'Challa, it's also possible that the sequel will introduce new conflicts, both internal and external, to Wakanda.
There is much potential for exploration of the relationships between the various characters, particularly between Shuri and M'Baku, who are on opposite sides of the political spectrum within Wakanda. Additionally, including Namor as the main antagonist could lead to more significant conflicts involving other parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In terms of style, the third movie will likely continue to blend traditional superhero elements with African-inspired themes and influences, as seen in the first two movies. The soundtrack for the franchise has been a critical component of its success, and is likely to continue in future sequels.
While there has been no official confirmation of a Black Panther 3, the events of Wakanda Forever make it seem likely that the franchise will continue. With several possible release dates in 2026, it's expected that the third film will be released in the next few years.
Whether the movie will explore loss and grief or delve into new conflicts and relationships, one thing is for sure: the music and cultural significance of the franchise will continue to be a significant part of any future installments.