The new Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer, which just debuted at San Diego Comic-Con, doesn't reveal exactly what happened to the futuristic African nation's young king, but it begins with the women in his life mourning his absence.
We don't know how he's gone, but he is gone nonetheless. After Chadwick Boseman's death from cancer, Marvel Studios announced it would not recast his iconic role as T'Challa, choosing instead to let the hero rest with him.
Boseman is glimpsed on a mural in Wakanda's capital city while two drummers perform. The entire phrase cannot be seen, but the English translation from the Wakandan alphabet says: “The Panther King Forever Lives In Us And Rests …” Lupita Nyong'o's “war dog” spy Nakia stares longingly at the sea. Danai Gurira's Okoye is seen keeping a stiff upper lift, continuing her stoic duties as head of the Dora Milaje.
His mother, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) breaks down in a shout of anguish: “I am queen of the most power nation in the world, and my entire family is gone.” What this implies about her daughter, the engineering genius Shur (Letitia Wright) is a bit unclear as well, but a wedding sequence seems to imply she is the bride, perhaps now drawn away from her home country but love and determination to continue the outreach to the world her brother once asked her to oversee.
An elegiac cover of Bob Marley and the Wailers “No Woman No Cry” opens things up, performed by the Nigerian singer Tems. It includes the plaintive line, “Good friends we have, and good friends we've lost …” But gradually, it transitions into resilience of Kendrick Lamar's “Alright.”
While introducing the trailer for the Nov. 11 film, director Ryan Coogler recalled watching the original Black Panther teaser at Comic-Con with Boseman. “He was right next to me, and he was excited. And he grabbed my left shoulder with his hand. He was just squeezing down on my shoulder the whole time,” Coogler says, noting that the actor was so strong that he “felt his hand the rest of that day for a few hours.”
“I promise I can feel his hand on me now. Chad is no longer with us physically, but his spirit, his passion, his genius, his pride and his culture, and the impact he made on this industry will be felt forever,” the filmmaker said. "We put our love for Chadwick into this film, but we also put our passion."