Worldwide, the excitement and anticipation is mounting as the release of Black Panther II nears. Who Will Return, We Know Who Will Not…..RIP Chadwick?
It was three years, 10 months and 22 days since Marvels long awaited release of the Black Panther back on January 29, 2018. The outpour was tremendous and resulted in immediate box office success. Black Panther II, “Wakanda Forever” is scheduled for release on Veterans Day (November 11, 2022), approximately 35 days from today but who is counting? While the anticipation and expectation for another sensational movie is off the charts, it also comes with the bittersweet reality that the star of the movie, Chadwick Boseman, the Black Panther, is no longer with us.
Boseman passed on August 28, 2020, following a courageous battle with colon cancer.
Exactly how film director Ryan Coogler and the cast will handle or compensate for the loss of Boseman is as much part of the anticipation as the movie itself. The Black Panther character was first introduced by Marvel during the tumultuous 60’s, amid riots, and unrest across the country.The 2018 movie grossed more than 200 million in its first week, and would go on to clear one billion (yes, billion with a B) dollars world-wide.
With a cast featuring such super-stars and A-list actors as, Forest Whittaker (Zuri, Elder statesman), Angela Bassett (Queen mother), Chadwick Boseman (King T’Challa/Black Panther), Michael B. Jordan (Killmonger), Lupita Nyogori (Nakia), newcomer Winston Duke (M Baku, leader of the Jabari Tribe), every scene was sensational. Additionally, the box-office sensation included Sterling Bill Brown (N’Jobu), King T’Challa’s uncle and Killer’s father whose life ended early in the movie, as well as Letitia Wright as Shuri (T’Challa’s highly technical astute sister).
As if the movie itself was not vibing worldwide, in immediate follow-up to the movie the M’Baku Challenge received a great deal of press.The clear cut winner of the M’Baku Challenge was none other than seven year-old (now 8) Jordan Ray from Florida who received a million hits on his YouTube video.Young Jordan, according to his mother was so impressed with the film; he could not sleep some night’s talking about the characters and repeating lines from the movie. The M’ Baku Challenge, required fans to give their best impression of M’Baku challenging T’Challa for the right to sit on the throne.According to Jordan’s mother (Brittany Ray), the family visited their local theatre five times to view Black Panther, as young Jordan learned the lines of actors and would share the lines with a very close accent to the actors (Wakanda dialect).
Jordan’s mother videoed him in Jabari Tribe attire just as M Baku in the movie. The youth had memorized the lines of (3) actors speaking during this segment – M’Baku, T’Challa and Zuri. Michael B. Jordan upon learning of Jordan’s fascination with the movie gave him a shout out complimenting the youth on his presentation.
Winston Duke, a Yale graduate and the character of interest (M’ Baku) also sent Jordan a big shout out via Facebook after seeing the youth demonstrate his skill.
Will little Jordan receive a role in BPII: Wakanda Forever? Also, it was an ongoing thought that Killmonger (Jordan) would be revived (with Vibranium of course) and return in BPII? With the absence of Boseman, that is a certainty…or is it?
Notable: The Black Panther following its unprecedented run is the second highest grossing movie in Marvel’s storied history, second only to the Avengers, the movie also did something else, it inspired youth (and those young at heart) worldwide.
DL White, for over 30 years has been writing reflectively in response to issues local and nationwide. His articles have appeared in the Tucson Citizen, the Arizona Daily Star, The Arizona Republic and Arizona Informant News Paper. DL is the author of highly regarded Children’s Book, “The Sensational Letter S,” which encourages early word development. Reading comprehension, Story recalls. He is the State Director for the NAACP AZ State Conference ACT-SO Program. A national academic program that recognizes African American youth (9th – 12th) grades for their achievement in such areas as STEM, Humanities, Visual & Performing Arts. ACT-SO, the Olympics of the Mind!! DL can be reached at [email protected].