In the record-breaking 2018 film Black Panther, the Marvel Cinematic Universe peeled back the veil of Wakanda and introduced the world to the technologically advanced vibranium capital. The Phase Three movie is still widely considered one of the franchise most successful installments, but its developing sequel could possibly up the ante — Rihanna might be in it!
The super sleuths of the Navy, Rih’s devoted fanbase, have uncovered some surprising hints that the singer-turned-entrepreneur may be heading to Wakanda. A quick Google search of Black Panther 2’s cast shows some interesting results. In addition to the characters that we fell in love with in the original film, Rihanna has also somehow been listed as a cast member.
I, for one, am not mad about the casting rumor even though it doesn't make a whole lot of sense at this point. We rarely get to see Rihanna now that she’s building her empire; ANTI was released four long years ago, and the last time we saw her onscreen was in last year’s Guava Island with Donald Glover. Since we don’t know if or when R9 is coming out (no pressure, babes, but hurry back!), seeing Rihanna in a movie — especially in such a cultural mammoth like the Black Panther — would be a gift.
How exactly would Rihanna even tie into the storyline? The cursory investigation doesn’t say what Rihanna could be doing in the movie. As of right now, little to nothing is known about the plot of Black Panther 2 except that the original script for the MCU sequel, penned by writer and director Ryan Coogler, was essentially scrapped following the death of Chadwick Boseman in late August. The MCU has confirmed that it won’t be recasting Boseman’s King T’Challa or trying to digitally recreate him a la Carrie Fisher in The Rise of Skywalker. Rather, it looks like Marvel Studios will be doing things according to canon, promoting T'Challa's genius sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) to the position of the Black Panther just like it happened in the comics.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, and Winston Duke are expected to also return to the project, and they’ll reportedly be joined by Tenoch Huerta (Narcos: Mexico). The Netflix star is rumored to be playing the villain in the sequel, but no one is sure exactly which antagonist he’ll be portraying.
Production for Black Panther 2 is set to begin in July in Atlanta, its six-month schedule keeping the movie on track for a 2022 release. The film will be part of the highly anticipated Phase Five rollout, which also includes Nia DaCosta’s Captain Marvel 2, Ant-Man 3, a Fantastic Four movie (No Michael B. Jordan this time, sorry), Mahershala Ali’s Blade debut, and another volume of Guardians of the Galaxy.
We already have a lot to look forward to over the next few years thanks to the MCU, so if a Rihanna cameo isn't a thing, the Navy might have to stand down. I miss our girl just as much as the next person, but even she can't be everywhere at once.
Refinery29 reached out to Marvel and Rihanna's team for comment but did not hear back by time of publication.