Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will hit Disney+ just weeks ahead of the launch of the MCU’s Phase 5.
Disney+ has confirmed that the highly emotional Black Panther sequel, which accounted for the death of franchise lead Chadwick Boseman, will begin streaming on Wednesday, Feb. 1.
Wakanda Forever (coupled with, arguably, TV’s Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special) closed out Phase 4 of the MCU. Phase 5 kicks off Feb. 17 with the theatrical release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, to be followed by the springtime premiere of Disney+’s Secret Invasion series.
Since its Nov. 11 theatrical release, Wakanda Forever has grossed $821 million worldwide (including a domestic take of $440 mil). Opening its run, it enjoeyed the largest opening weekend for a November release, by bringing in $181 million.
As for its ties to the MCU’s TV fare, Wakanda Forever introduced us to Riri Williams (played by Judas and the Black Messiah‘s Dominique Thorne), a brilliant MIT student who is getting her own live-action Disney+ series, Ironheart, in the fall of 2023.
Additionally — movie spoilers alert! — the Black Panther sequel established that Julia Louis-Dreyfus‘ Countess Valentina Allegra “Don’t Call Me Val” de Fontaine, who was first introduced in Disney+’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, is now the director of the CIA Director (as well as the ex-wife of veteran CIA operative Everett Ross, played by MCU vet Martin Freeman!). As such, Val in a unique position to — as many speculated she was doing with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘ John Walker – groom, recruit, assemble, outfit and deploy the Thunderbolts, a Suicide Squad-esque team of antiheroes.
A Thunderbolts movie was announced last year, to star JLD, Florence Pugh (as Black Widow‘s Yelena Belova), Wyatt Russell (as FAWS‘ John Walker fka Captain America), Sebastian Stan (as the MCU’s Bucky “Winter Soldier” Barnes), David Harbour (as Black Widow‘s Alexei/Red Guardian), Olga Kurylenko (as Black Widow‘s Antonia/Taskmaster) and Hannah John-Kamen (as Ant-Man 2‘s Ava/Ghost). Jake Schreier (Lodge 49, Kidding) will direct, off a script by Eric Pearson (Black Widow). Shooting starts this year with an eye on a July 26, 2024 release, where the movie will close out Phase 5 of the MCU.