The late Chadwick Boseman, who starred as T’Challa in Black Panther and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (AP Photo)

By Kara Thompson,
Special to the AFRO

Black America is reveling in the recent release of Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer. Emotions are almost as high as the view count on the preview, which has garnered over 103 million views between Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

The two minute preview pays a stunning tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, who starred as King T’Challa, Black Panther of the Marvel cinematic universe (MCU). 

“It is a big deal for our community,” said Amir Adams, president of the Underground Studios Club at Morgan State University. The organization is a film club that delves into every aspect of the industry and helps students get hired working in the field. 

“In the film industry we see the typical White family. We are doing more to diversify, but to see a stand alone film that is majority Black people- it shows that we are here. It shows that we are a collective. We are a group and we are present in time,” said Adams. “I think this film is going to re-spark the Black community [and] give hope within us that it’s not the end. He may be gone, but he still lives on, and that’s what’s really important – that we take this message and really resonate with it and live with it within our lives.” 

The trailer opens with a shot of Nakia—played by Lupita Nyong’o—who was T’Challa’s love interest in the first Black Panther movie. As Nigerian artist Tems croons a moving cover of Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry,” scenes from the movie are shown.

When the song gets to its popular refrain of “everything’s going to be alright,” the tune morphs into Kendrick Lamar’s popular cut of “Alright.” 

Adams said the clever blend gives hope to the Black community and fans, still mourning Boseman’s premature death. 

“I don’t think anybody really expected it to happen,” she said. “It was a hardship for a lot of people who looked up to him– for the children who looked up to him, and fans of the films as well. But bringing it back home and together, it really helps bring hope. 

The only dialogue in the entire trailer is spoken by Angela Bassett, who portrays Ramonda in the film.“I am Queen of the most powerful nation in the world, and my entire family is gone,” said her character. “Have I not given enough?”

One of the many clips from the movie shown in the trailer include a shot of a mural of T’Challa, surrounded by letters of the fictional Wakandan alphabet.

Many viewers commented on the power of the first film, and some recognized the nod to Mesoamerican culture via the film’s costumes.

“Wakanda Forever could surpass the original Black Panther at the box office,” said Matt Ramos, pop culture and entertainment journalist on social media. “Between the Black and Hispanic community, we are not going to shut up about this movie. It’s going to take over the world.”

Since the release of the trailer, there has been much discussion about the legacy of Boseman and his death on Aug. 28, 2020 from colon cancer. He was diagnosed at stage III in 2016, which eventually progressed to stage IV. 

Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to release in theaters on Nov. 11, 2022.

Boseman portrayed T’Challa in the first Black Panther film, as well as in several other Marvel movies—Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

“I’m glad Black Panther is giving the actors an opportunity to grieve on screen. Of course they’ll recast eventually but everyone who worked [with] Chadwick– cast and crew alike– deserve the opportunity to honor Chadwick in the very next Black Panther movie,” said filmmaker Matthew A. Cherry on Twitter.

Many fans commented on the trailer’s powerful tribute to Boseman in the comment section of the Marvel trailer on YouTube as well. 

“You can watch this teaser a thousand times and still would want more of it,” said Ravi Raj in the comments. “Angela’s heartwarming cry is coming straight from her heart as if she represents all of us in paying homage to the great warrior king. Rest in Power one and only Black Panther. The best teaser and the best movie in the MCU, hands down.”

On July 23, a quote from film producer Logan Coles was posted on Boseman’s Twitter, honoring the late actor’s dedication to his craft. 

“It was that level of dedication, that attention to detail, that unquenchable desire to refine his words until every verb, every line, every connection was on point,” read Coles’ quote. “That was him. That’s how it was to work with Chad. He was tireless, even when he was tired.”

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