In the official trailer for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” the highly anticipated sequel to Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther,” fans get their first full glimpse of the new Black Panther, who was previously portrayed by Chadwick Boseman until the actor’s death in 2020.
Before that grand reveal, however, local residents were treated to more shots of Boston and Cambridge to be featured in the upcoming blockbuster.
According to a “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” plot synopsis released by Marvel, Wakandans including Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), M’Baku (Winston Duke), and Okoye (Danai Gurira) must “fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death.”
Director Ryan Coogler confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that Boseman’s death is evident in the film, both in its plot and its cinematography.
“I think this film has the fog of loss over it, and anamorphic lenses warp the image a little bit,” Coogler said. “Sometimes when you go through profound loss, it can warp how you look at the world.”
Following scenes set in Wakanda, the trailer moves to the streets of Cambridge at around the 1:17 mark. Along with filming in Boston and Cambridge in August 2021, crews visited Worcester to film a chase scene during the same time period last summer.
In the trailer, Nakia hops into a red sports car and leads a chase that culminates in a fight on the Mass. Ave. bridge between Boston and Cambridge seen in the first “Wakanda Forever” teaser trailer released in July.
Flying overhead in the Cambridge shots is new character Riri Williams, aka Ironheart. Played by Dominique Thorne (“If Beale Street Could Talk”), Williams is the de facto successor to Iron Man and has a connection to MIT, much like Tony Stark.
In the comics, Riri is a child genius who attends MIT at a young age. She builds a new Iron Man suit using scraps stolen from around campus and eventually becomes a teenage superhero. During a quick segment starting at 1:33 in the trailer, you can see Thorne building her suit, and flying in it above the streets of Boston.
The MIT community has embraced its part in Marvel lore in recent years. In 2016, the MIT alumni publication Slice of MIT celebrated Williams’ MIT education, and called Stark the school’s “most famous alumnus, fictional or real-life.”
And in a 2021 email to the MIT community obtained by Boston.com, school officials said that there was “real value” to allowing filming of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (at the time known by its working title “Summer Break”) to take place around campus.
“Although we are not at liberty to share details of the plot at this stage, we believe there is real value in MIT being represented in the film,” the email read. “When the film becomes public, we hope you’ll have the opportunity to see for yourselves!”
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” hits theaters Nov. 11.
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