Those two shocking ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ cameos explained

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SPOILER ALERT: This interview contains spoilers for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” which is now playing in theaters.

Many new and returning Marvel characters are back for Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” but there are two major and surprising cameos that avoided leaking before the sequel’s release.

Letitia Wright’s Shuri, Angela Bassett’s Queen Ramonda, and Danai Gurira’s Okoye help lead the nation of Wakanda, which is missing its Black Panther and King T’Challa after star Chadwick Boseman’s tragic death from cancer. in 2020. Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), M’ Baku (Winston Duke), Ayo (Florence Kasumba), and Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) are also back, and the film features new faces with Dominique Thorne’s Riri Williams. , also known as the superheroine Ironheart, the underwater villain of Tenoch Huerta Mejía Namor and Michaela. Aneka, the Wakandan warrior from Coel.

Towards the end of the film, “Black Panther” fans were also thrilled to see the brief return of Michael B. Jordan’s fan-favorite villain Erik Killmonger from the original film. After Shuri makes a heart-shaped synthetic grass to take on Black Panther’s powers, she enters the Ancient Plane and hopes to see either her brother T’Challa or her late mother Ramonda, who both drowned during Namor’s previous attack on Wakanda. However, she is surprised to find Killmonger waiting for her.

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The scene mirrors T’Challa’s meeting with his late father T’Chaka (John Kani) in the first “Black Panther,” but Shuri and Killmonger are ideologically opposed, or so she thinks. Still shaken by her mother’s death, Shuri wants revenge on her and Killmonger encourages her. She mocks her father’s and her brother’s peaceful and noble outlook, pushing her to kill Namor the next time she faces him.

During the final battle between Wakandan warriors and Namor’s forces, Shuri corners a dried up, powerless Namor in a desert. She is critically injured, but gains the upper hand by blasting Namor with fire from his crashed ship. Then she must decide whether or not to kill him. In the end, she decides to show mercy and forces Namor to give in. She promises him that Wakanda will protect its people from invaders, which Namor seems happy with, though in his final scene with Namora (Mabel Cadena), she seems like he’s just biding his time.

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In addition to Jordan’s return, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ shadowy villain Valentina Allegra de Fontaine returns in a few scenes after last appearing in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “Black Widow.” On Friday, Louis-Dreyfus shared a photo from the set of “Wakanda Forever,” rocking Valentina’s purple-streaked hair and smiling alongside Coogler. “I love this man. #ryancoogler. Have a great weekend,” she captioned the post.

In the film, we learn that Val is the head of the CIA and Ross’s ex-wife, which puts them at odds personally and professionally throughout the nearly three-hour run. She leads the American investigation into Wakanda’s vibranium and is much more aggressive than Ross, making her a powerful puppeteer with the CIA under her command.

Val is confirmed to appear in 2024’s “Thunderbolts,” where she will lead a team of villains and antiheroes, including Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), Red Guardian (David Harbour), US Agent (Wyatt Russell ), Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko), and Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen). Her appearance in “Wakanda Forever” makes it clear that she will play a major role in the future of the MCU with building an anti-Avengers team like the evil Nick Fury.

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