Following a Los Angeles premiere Wednesday night, first reactions to “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” are pouring in. Critics have applauded writer/director Ryan Coogler’s MCU installment that both honors the late Chadwick Boseman’s legacy while introducing new characters into the epic world of Wakanda.
Wednesday’s premiere screenings were split between the Dolby and El Capitan theater across the street. Along with the cast and crew, the Dolby brought in everyone from Quinta Brunson and Sheryl Lee Ralph to Chloe x Halle and Daveed Diggs. Marvel stars like Simu Liu, Kumail Nanjiani, and Iman Vellani also turned out for the world premiere, along with directors (MCU and non-MCU alike) Destin Daniel Cretton, Gina Prince-Bythewood, David Lowery, Rian Johnson, and Steve Caple Jr. Audiences cheered for every character intro, especially for newcomer Tenoch Huerta as Namor, and for Dominique Thorne.
In “Black Panther 2,” following the death of King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), the sequel film centers on his mother Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) warning against the underwater King of Talokan, Namor (Huerta), who threatens to take over the surface world. Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and the Dora Milaje (Florence Kasumba) fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death.
As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda. The film also stars Michaela Coel, Mabel Cadena, and Alex Livinalli.
Tickets are now on sale for the MCU feature, out November 11, that ventures back to the kingdom of Wakanda where a new threat emerges from a hidden undersea nation called Talokan. Kevin Feige and Nate Moore produce the film. The soundtrack also features a new song by Rihanna in honor of Boseman.
Marvel Studios president Feige recently addressed why King T’Challa (Boseman) wasn’t recast following his August 2020 death.
“It just felt like it was much too soon,” Feige told Empire magazine. “Stan Lee always said that Marvel represents the world outside your window. And we had talked about how, as extraordinary and fantastical as our characters and stories are, there’s a relatable and human element to everything we do. The world is still processing the loss of Chad. And [director] Ryan [Coogler] poured that into the story.”
Check out more reactions below.
Additional reporting by Marcus Jones.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is packed with twists, turns, a watery new world and two new superheroes — in a dense 2 hours, 41 minutes. On the red carpet Marvel chief Kevin Feige praised the world-building from the original team: "It's all Ryan Coogler. It's a celebration."
— Anne Thompson (@akstanwyck) October 27, 2022
#BlackPantherWakandaForever is a beautiful tribute to Chadwick Boseman. Visual stunner, with Angela Bassett commanding every scene she inhabits. Rihanna's "Lift Me Up" will do that for many. Another great post credit scene that's genuinely a jaw-dropper. Don't know about Oscars. pic.twitter.com/55YSor1PrD
— Clayton Davis – Stand with 🇺🇦 (@ByClaytonDavis) October 27, 2022
Black Panther: #WakandaForever is Marvel's most poignant and powerful film to date. It's heavy and dark in the way that it needed to be, and mostly abandons the studio's trademark tone. The craft work levels up in every conceivable way, and the performances rise to the occasion. pic.twitter.com/aAK7jjRMra
— Brian Davids (@PickYourBrian) October 27, 2022
#WakandaForever's bigger in scope and scale than #BlackPanther, but its story is also one of Marvel's most intimate and heartfelt. It's definitely a Comic Book Movie, but it’s one that centers grief and the grieving process rather than superheroics and spectacle. Full review soon pic.twitter.com/MzIjwVzjBd
— Charles, Witch from Mercury (@CharlesPulliam) October 27, 2022
#WakandaForever is outstanding. It handles loss, grief and revenge with a maturity and seriousness rarely seen in the MCU. Black Panther continues to be their crown jewel. Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett and Tenoch Huerta all bring some of the best acting I've seen all year. pic.twitter.com/ECqGxfEyFi
— Lando (@orlandoenelcine) October 27, 2022
#BlackPantherWakandaForever prioritizes sentiment over spectacle and for the most part it’s a transporting and engrossing triumph. Arguably Marvel Studio’s most deeply felt and emotional resonant extravaganza. Also Ludwig’s score is an all timer. 🐆 pic.twitter.com/EAZK118L8A
— Drew Taylor (@DrewTailored) October 27, 2022
Another reason I’m so impressed with #BlackPantherWakandaForever is #RyanCoogler had the impossible task of trying to make a sequel without #ChadwickBoseman & make it feel respectful but also keep the franchise going and he hit a home run. Going to be HUGE hit for @MarvelStudios. pic.twitter.com/mMd9WFjung
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) October 27, 2022
No spoilers. Wakanda Forever had so many emotions!!! It was creepy and BRU-TAL in parts. Heartbreaking and beautiful. And the fight scenes were WILD. I’m in awe of the care put into representing these cultures. #WakandaForever pic.twitter.com/HHSClXcxoY
— Dani Fernandez (@msdanifernandez) October 27, 2022
Black Panther: #WakandaForever is as epic as Marvel sequels get. The story is hugely ambitious & thematically rewarding with gut-wrenching twists and turns throughout. You feel the length but it’s fun, wildly beautiful and has the best credits scene in Marvel history, no contest. pic.twitter.com/zD8nYIFKXC
— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) October 27, 2022
#BlackPanther Wakanda Forever is excellent. An immensely powerful story of forging forward — shattering at times, but also beautifully cathartic and heartening. Cannot get over how well the film earns that title. pic.twitter.com/jYZedeJgT1
— Perribite (@PNemiroff) October 27, 2022