Black Panther: Wakanda Forever features Letitia Wright’s Shuri like you’ve never seen her before and introduces the infamous Marvel antihero Namor, played by Tenoch Huerta.
Shuri inspired a lot of people in the first film, especially when it comes to Black women and young Black girls in STEM. THis is something Wright hopes continues with the sequel, considering Shuri’s powerful arc in this film as well.
“I hope it continues to encourage young girls around the world, especially young Black girls and women around the world– that they are beautiful, they are innovative, they are powerful and their minds are really beautiful and contribute positively in the world,” Wright told Shadow and Act in a recent interview. “So if that continues to encourage, if Shuri continues to be an inspiration for a little girl saying she wants to be in science, technology, engineering and math, and then excellent, I’ve done my job.”
Huerta plays Namor, a character with so much charisma but at the same time, effectively shows that he means business. The conflict between Wakanda and his home, Talokan is a big part of the movie.
On the dichotomy of Namor that is presented, Huerta told us, “I think the key is to embrace those contrasts [and] embrace both sides of the character. Ryan and I, we decided to go for the human being behind everything. He’s just a human being [and] normal common man in the best way possible, but he’s a common man with these superpowers. But at the end, he’s just a human being with all the complexity. His motivation is just to protect his people, to protect his city, kingdom and culture. And from that point, if you take that point to start, then you can create this character who has both parts. Of course, he’s terrible because he decided to do whatever, no matter the cost and [he] could be scary, in a way. But at the same time, it’s like, okay, but should do the same thing to protect my people, you know? So that’s beautiful and that’s the complexity of this movie.”
Watch the full interviews below, which also feature Lupita Nyong’o, Mabel Cadena, Alex Livinalli and director Ryan Coogler: