Black Panther 3: Everything we know about a potential third movie

Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

Will there be a Black Panther 3? It's a fair question because, although Black Panther: Wakanda Forever leaves things open for a follow-up, Marvel's release slate is absolutely jam-packed for the next few years. Wakanda Forever sees the nation in mourning following the death of T'Challa – as well as the introduction of a new Black Panther, who goes up against Namor, ruler of the undersea kingdom of Talokan. 

As for a follow-up, it's less clear what that might cover – but we've dived into absolutely everything there is to know about a potential Black Panther 3 below, so you can get up to speed on the next time we might be visiting Wakanda. Be warned, though, that there are major Black Panther: Wakanda Forever spoilers ahead! Turn back now if you haven't seen the new movie yet!

Has Black Panther 3 been confirmed?

There has been no official word of a third Black Panther movie just yet. "We really want to see how audiences receive the film, and I think Ryan [Coogler, director]'s really interested to see how the film plays before we decide," producer Nate Moore told Collider of a follow-up. "There are certainly ideas we've floated around of what a third film could be if we get to make it. But until the movie comes out, we're a bit superstitious in that way. We don't want to count our chickens, because you never know what's going to happen."

Still, with the post-credits text promising that "Black Panther will return," and the MCU's pattern of trilogies, it seems very likely that a third movie will eventually get the green light. 

What could the Black Panther 3 release date be?

Okoye and Shuri in Black Panther 2

(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

The gap between Black Panther and Black Panther 2 was a huge four years – but, of course, the sequel had to contend with the pandemic and the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman. If we're in for another long wait, though, we can expect to see Black Panther 3 sometime around 2026. 

In fact, Marvel Phase 5 is mapped out until 2024, with Marvel Phase 6 carrying us into the summer of 2026. With that in mind, 2026 does seem a safe bet for a third movie. But, there is a release slot for an Untitled Marvel movie in November 2025. That could well be reserved for a Black Panther threequel. At this point, though, it's all just speculation. 

Who could return in the Black Panther 3 cast?

Aneka in Black Panther 2

(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

Shuri takes up the mantle of Black Panther in the movie, which means Letitia Wright will most likely be back to lead her own threequel. Danai Gurira's Okoye and Lupita Nyong'o's Nakia would also be top contenders to return, along with Florence Kasumba's Ayo, Michaela Coel's Aneka, and Winston Duke's M'Baku. 

Martin Freeman's Everett Ross is also a likely contender, especially after Okoye rescues him from imprisonment at the end of Black Panther 2. His return could also open the door to Julia Louis-Dreyfus coming back as Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, the mastermind behind the Thunderbolts.

Angela Bassett's Ramonda and Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger could well make returns in the Ancestral Plane, too. It also wouldn't be a surprise to see more of T'Challa's son, though something like a time skip could recast him. 

Beyond those key cast members, it's harder to predict. Shuri pledges to protect Talokan at the end of the film, which means we could see Tenoch Huerta's Namor back in a threequel – though expect relations to be strained, considering he's responsible for Ramonda's death. A return to Talokan also means Mabel Cadena's Namora and Alex Livinalli's Attuma could reappear. 

It seems less likely that we'll be seeing Dominique Thorne's Riri Williams, AKA Ironheart, in a threequel since she's getting her own Disney Plus show (and it's titled – you guessed it – Ironheart). Plus, since this is Marvel, a crossover or two with other MCU movies and characters isn't a long shot, either.

Black Panther 3 plot: here's what the story could cover

M'Baku in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer

(Image credit: Marvel)

In Black Panther 2, tensions rise between Wakanda and the rest of the world over the country's Vibranium. The US believes Wakanda to be behind an attack on a diving expedition seeking more of the precious material, as well as a fight in Massachusetts that involved the FBI. Talokan were involved in both incidents, but Ramonda keeps the undersea nation's existence a secret, so the US places all the blame on Wakanda. In Black Panther 3, then, it's likely this tension will boil over – especially with many other countries also trying to take the nation's Vibranium. 

Towards the end of Wakanda Forever, Namor tells Namora that Shuri should turn to Talokan for help if the world ever comes for Wakanda's Vibranium. If that's the case, then expect to see an alliance between the two kingdoms: though, M'Baku taking over as king after Shuri leaves Wakanda could complicate things, as there may be some bad blood from Namor killing Ramonda. A threequel could also feature T'Challa's son more prominently, though it's probably too early to expect him to take over the Black Panther mantle from Shuri. 

Considering Black Panther 3 is likely to come after Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars, though, it's very hard to predict just what direction the MCU will take. It's likely both movies will feature a huge cast of characters like Infinity War and Endgame, meaning things could change drastically for Wakanda and Talokan after both movies. Until we see how the cards fall, the potential Black Panther 3 plot will have to remain a mystery. 

Will Ryan Coogler direct Black Panther 3?

Ryan Coogler

(Image credit: Getty Images)

At the moment, it's unclear if there will even be a Black Panther 3, let alone who will direct it. Though, considering Ryan Coogler helmed the first and second installments, we can expect him to return should a third movie happen. 

"I haven't thought about it, to be honest," Coogler told Gizmodo of returning. "When it comes to writing and directing, I'm not the world's greatest multitasker. I kind of got to do what is in front of me and be singular. When it comes to producing, I'm more geared up to be able to do multiple things. 

"And to plan things, I've got a great production company and fantastic collaborators that can help move things along. But when it comes to writing, and in this case, co-writing and directing, I've got to finish what’s in front of me and then and then think of all that is happening after that."

Coogler – who will produce the upcoming Ironheart series as well as the reported Wakanda spin-off show – reiterated the point to Variety: "I can tell you definitively I have no idea what I'm doing next as a writer and director."

Feige told the publication that "conversations" have occurred with Coogler about a third film, which includes "ideas pitched back and forth." The Marvel Studios President also addressed whether Black Panther 3 could happen without Coogler. "I go back to what I said when we decided to make Wakanda Forever after losing Chad," Feige said. "This mythology and this ensemble and these characters deserve to continue and will continue after all of us are gone, I hope, and will continue forever in movies the way it has in comics for 50-plus years." But, he added, going ahead without Coogler "wouldn't be the preference."

If you're up to speed on Black Panther 3, check out our roundup of all the upcoming Marvel movies and TV shows for everything else the MCU has in store. 

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.