Rihanna (the Singer) Is Back for ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

rihanna black panther 2 wakanda forever

Well folks, it seems the 2023 Oscar race for Best Original Song just got a little more competitive, as the Twitter account for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has confirmed the rumours that Rihanna will be returning to music this Friday, October 28. Rihanna the entrepreneur era over, Rihanna the singer returns!

The news first broke last week, when New York Times’ writer and author Kyle Buchanan tweeted that Rihanna was potentially about to drop her first song in years with the release of music for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

“Rumours are flying and I can add to them: I’ve been hearing for weeks that Rihanna is recording the end-credits song for BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER,” he wrote. “How do you follow up a classic like ‘All the Stars’? By snagging Rihanna’s first big song in years.”

Buchanan continued: “If nothing else, this adds a significant new Oscar contender to an original-song race that already includes big names like Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and Billie Eilish…”

Now, the rumours have been confirmed, with the official Black Panther account tweeting a not-so cryptic video of the Wakanda Forever logo pulling out the ‘R’ — as in… for Rihanna. They even added an eyes emoji, for full effect. So far, there’s no word on what the song will be titled.

As it stands for the 2023 Oscar race, Lady Gaga is expected to snag a nomination for “Hold My Hand”, the theme song from Top Gun: Maverick, Taylor Swift is in the running to score her first Oscar nod for “Carolina”, from Where the Crawdads Sing, and Billie Eilish and Finneas are in the race with “Nobody Like U” from Pixar’s Turning Red. Now, Rihanna will be in the running, also.

Rihanna has been largely absent from the music scene since the release of her last album, 2016’s ANTI, but was recently announced as the headliner for the 2023 Super Bowl halftime show, an indication that a return to music is imminent.

Meanwhile, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is one of the most hotly anticipated films of the year. The film is a follow up to 2018’s Black Panther, which is the highest ranked Marvel movie on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film was originally announced in 2019, but was delayed after the death of its star, the late Chadwick Boseman. Rather than replacing Boseman with another actor, Marvel chose to let his character rest with him. In the trailer, screened for the first time at Comic-Con, the loss is palpable, as King T’Challa is memorialised with a mural.

Here’s everything we know so far about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

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Who Directed Black Panther: Wakanda Forever?

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is directed by Ryan Coogler, who also directed the first Black Panther film. Aside from the Black Panther franchise, Coogler is best known for directing Creed and Fruitvale Station, both of which starred Michael B. Jordan.

Who Wrote Black Panther: Wakanda Forever?

Director Ryan Coogler also co-wrote Black Panther: Wakanda Foreveralongside Joe Robert Cole. Cole co-wrote the first Black Panther film with Coogler, also. Aside from that, Cole’s most notable credits include co-producing American Crime Story: Impeachment, as well as writing and directing the 2020 Netflix film All Day and a Night.

Who Will Star in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever?

Like the first Black Panther film, Wakanda Forever is packed with A-Listers, including Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, and Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross.

Also starring in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever are:

  • Tenoch Huerta as Namor
  • Danai Gurira as Okoye
  • Winston Duke as M’Baku
  • Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams
  • Michaela Coel
  • Florence Kasumba as Ayo
  • Isaach De Bankolé as River Tribe Elder

Will Chadwick Boseman Be in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever?

Sadly, no. While Chadwick Boseman was originally slated to reprise his role as King T’Challa for the sequel, he passed away after a battle with colon cancer in December 2020.

Still, Boseman’s character looms large over the trailer, and while addressing the crowd at Comic-Con, director Ryan Coogler recalled watching the original Black Panther trailer with the late star.

“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 told the crowd, adding that Boseman was so strong at the time he “felt his hand the rest of that day for a few hours.”

“I promise I can feel his hand on me now,” Coogler said. “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.

“We put our love for Chadwick into this film, but we also put our passion.”

What Is Black Panther: Wakanda Forever About?

In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including 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. Introducing Tenoch Huerta as Namor, king of a hidden undersea nation, the film also stars Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Mabel Cadena and Alex Livanalli.

Is There a Trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever?

There is! The trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premiered at San Diego’s 2022 Comic Con, and you can watch it right here.

Where was Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Filmed?

Filming of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever took place in Atlanta and Brunswick, in Georgia, United States, as well as in Massachusetts.

Production went on hiatus in November 2021, after a stunt gone wrong left Leticia Wright with a fractured shoulder and a concussion. Filming resumed in mid-January 2022, and the final spell of shooting took place in Puerto Rico. The shoot wrapped in late March 2022.

When Will Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Be Released?

It’s not too far away now! Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will hit Australian theatres on November 10, 2022.

Where Can I Watch Black Panther: Wakanda Forever?

In HOYTS Cinemas! No word just yet on when this one will hit streaming platforms, but it’ll be on Disney+ at some point after its cinematic run.

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