Sydney Bucksbaum
February 20, 2018 11:23 am

Warning: We’re talking major Black Panther spoilers here. Because, duh, we’re talking about a potential sequel, which comes after the events of the first film. Seriously, turn back now if you haven’t seen Black Panther. You’ve been sufficiently warned, so don’t come crying if you keep reading despite knowing better and spoil yourself on the ending (or end credits scenes).

The world can’t get enough of Black Panther. Marvel has a huge hit on its hands, and for good reason. Director Ryan Coogler has created a gorgeous world filled with incredibly real and empathetic characters, and the film features a cast almost entirely filled with people of color (aside from two white guys, Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis, in smaller supporting roles), which is a big deal for people not used to seeing themselves represented in pop culture, let alone in the superhero/comic book world. Black Panther is more than just a movie; it’s a movement. Wakanda forever.

So, obviously, Marvel is going to make a sequel. Honestly, it would be very stupid for the Powers That Be at the company to not make a sequel, especially since in its opening weekend Black Panther smashed every expectation. The latest (and arguably smartest) film in the MCU earned $235 million domestically and $404 million worldwide just in the first weekend alone, meaning there’s no way of predicting how much it will gross total. As the fifth-highest opening for a film ever (and the highest opening February film of all time), Black Panther is absolutely killing it. But since nothing is a guarantee, for now, we have to call Black Panther 2 a *potential* sequel.

Here’s everything we know already about the potential sequel, from who should return to what it could be about.

Wakanda will no longer be living in secret. Thanks to the mid credits scene, we know that Wakanda is finally about to come out of the shadows. King T’Challa went before the United Nations and announced his intentions to share Wakanda’s knowledge and developments with the world, which means vibranium is about to change the world as everyone knows it. This will catapult King T’Challa even further into the public eye as the leader of the most advanced country in the world and will give him an even bigger platform to help those who are oppressed. However, this also opens up Wakanda to all kinds of threats. Will a globalized Black Panther 2 feature T’Challa saving the world or having to save Wakanda from an external threat?

The White Wolf will be born. The second credits scene that comes at the very end of the movie opens up the door for some exciting mythology to come into play for Black Panther 2. Bucky Barnes has been cured of his brainwashing by Shuri, and she laughs as she tells him that he has so much more to learn in Wakanda. Little children are heard calling the former Winter Soldier “White Wolf,” which is the alias of T’Challa’s adopted white brother in the comics. Although his brother is named Hunter in the source material, it’s clear that Marvel is going to tell his story through Bucky in the movies. White Wolf becomes a hero in Wakanda, since he can’t ascend to the throne (as he’s white and wasn’t born in Wakanda) and shows his love for his home by becoming the best warrior he can be. He protects Wakanda, and while that will come into play in Avengers: Infinity War, it’s highly likely that Bucky will become a big part of the Black Panther universe moving forward.

There is room for more relationships in addition to T’Challa and Nakia. The one love story between T’Challa and Nakia was sweet and romantic, but Black Panther did not spend much time on love in the first movie. That should *absolutely* change for the sequel. Now, we’re not saying that Black Panther 2 should become a love story, but there is definitely room for more relationships to be explored in ways that could shake things up in the MCU. Let’s see Okoye bring her LGBTQ comic book destiny to life and explore a relationship with fellow Dora Milaje warrior Ayo. Seeing as how Okoye and W’Kabi found themselves fighting against each other in Black Panther, it’s not hard to imagine them breaking up after almost killing each other in combat — meaning the possibility for an inclusive LGBTQ story is there. Marvel still has yet to break this barrier, so what’s the hold up? Plus, was that just us or did Shuri seem to be flirting with Bucky in the last scene?

Ryan Coogler should return to direct. Do you really need any further explanation on this one? No? Good.

Some key players will definitely be back. You can’t have Black Panther without the Black Panther, so it’s safe to say that Chadwick Boseman will be back as King T’Challa. The internet’s collective fervor over Disney Princess Shuri means she’s a surefire return as well (and maybe she could suit up as a Black Panther too!). T’Challa’s love Nakia will definitely return, and she’s probably going to end up sitting on the throne as his Queen…but that doesn’t mean we won’t see her out in the field conducting some badass missions as well. She even becomes a villain at one point in the comics — hey, this actually seems like an amazing plot point for the sequel. Lupita, better start brushing up on your evil laugh skills.

Okay Marvel, we’ll shut up and give you our money if you promise to make Black Panther 2.