Marvel's Black Panther roars into theaters in 10 days, but it's never too early to talk about where the movie's characters - like Letitia Wright as Shuri - could go next. With the tale of Wakanda on track for a massive box office opening and Black Panther earning stellar early reviews, Marvel Studios has clearly crafted something special here. Black Panther similarly represents a dynamic step in storytelling for the comic book movie studio and its Marvel Cinematic Universe, as a whole.
Although Black Panther (as mentioned earlier) has yet to actually begin playing on the big screen, MCU fans are already buzzing about the various characters in the film - not only T'Challa himself (Chadwick Boseman), but also the Dora Milaje and the villainous Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). Among the Black Panther characters poised to enjoy a long future in the MCU is Shuri, T'Challa's younger sister and the head of the Wakandan Design Group.
Already confirmed to be the smartest person in the MCU, Shuri's accomplishments include 'rebooting' Bucky Barnes, and potentially advancing artificial intelligence far enough to correct Tony Stark's fatal mistakes in Avengers: Age of Ultron. She's behind the majority of Wakandan technology and eventually becomes a Wakandan ruler in the comics, taking on the mantle of the Black Panther herself. Wright is already game for a solo Shuri film but insists that fans make it to Black Panther 2 to see more of Boseman. During our set visit, the star teased where she'd like to see Shuri go next:
I think whatever she's meant to do, we don't know what's going to happen in the Marvel Universe. So if she has to, you know, she is royalty. If she has to take that place and help do whatever she has to do, she has to do it. Because in the comic books, she does that. But wherever she goes, she's going to be fine, you know? She's going to be alright.
Personally? Man, just doing more stuff around the world and using her intelligence. Not just to help Wakanda, but maybe different parts of the world I guess. Maybe helping out Spider-Man or something I don't know. Just visiting the other superheroes in the Marvel Universe and just be like, “Hey Captain America! You know, let's let's go have lunch or something, we can talk about… something.” I don't know.
Thor: Ragnarok star Tessa Thompson has been vocal about pushing for an "all female" Marvel superhero film and Shuri would be an excellent fit for such a project, either acting as the team's technical support or their muscle (with her Vibranium gauntlets). Although Black Panther won't directly set up Avengers: Infinity War, Wakanda and its people will play an important role in the next Avengers movie - meaning there's room for Shuri to step further into the spotlight during Infinity War, too.
The hope is that Marvel will give Shuri multiple opportunities to shine in the MCU, whether it be by having her appear in Black Panther sequels in the future and/or giving her a spinoff movie of her own. Between her focus on STEM and the leadership skills that she's gained from her mother Ramonda and her brother T'Challa, Shuri is great character and one that audiences will certainly want to see more of, once they've met her. Even Shuri grabbing lunch with Captain America sounds like a good idea.
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