It's about time to yell "Wakanda forever!" once more.
Written and directed by Ryan Coogler, the blockbuster Marvel sequel "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" (in theaters Nov. 11) again puts the spotlight on the high-tech African nation – a central location in the expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe. But things are different now than they were in 2018, when the original film became a pop-culture phenomenon and garnered a best picture Oscar nomination: Star Chadwick Boseman died two years ago.
From new and old faces to someone else wearing the Black Panther suit, here's everything you need to know about the anticipated superhero follow-up:
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What's the plot of 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'?
The sequel is set after the events of "Avengers: Endgame," checking in on Wakanda after King T'Challa (Boseman) revealed to the world that his nation was in fact a technology-rich land instead of the third-world country everyone believed it to be.
But in the new movie, art imitates life: Following T'Challa's death, his mother Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) heads a Wakanda that enters its next chapter and has to protect itself from other global powers.
Who returns from Ryan Coogler's original 'Black Panther' movie?
Most of the main cast is back, including Letitia Wright as T'Challa's genius sister Shuri, Winston Duke and Lupita Nyong’o as Wakandan warriors M'Baku and Nakia, plus Martin Freeman as CIA ally Everett Ross. And Danai Gurira's Okoye again commands the all-female Dora Milaje, which includes Florence Kasumba's second-in-command Ayo (who appeared in "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" series).
Fans may not have to wait long to see them again: Coogler is developing a Wakanda-centered series for Disney+.
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Is Chadwick Boseman going to be in 'Black Panther 2'?
Filmmakers haven't addressed if Boseman will be seen in "Wakanda Forever" other than murals with T'Challa's face glimpsed in footage released thus far. But they have confirmed the role won't be recast. “It just felt like it was much too soon,” Marvel chief Kevin Feige told Empire magazine. “As extraordinary and fantastical as our characters and stories are, there’s a relatable and human element to everything we do. The world is still processing the loss of Chad. And Ryan poured that into the story.”
Coogler honored his late star at San Diego Comic-Con in July. "Chad is no longer with us physically but his spirit, his passion, his genius, his pride in his culture and the impact he had on this industry will be felt forever," the director said. "We put our love for Chadwick into this film."
And last year in an interview with USA TODAY, Duke discussed what it was like filming a "Black Panther" movie without Boseman: "I miss my friend."
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Is there a new villain in 'Black Panther 2'?
Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger set the bad-guy bar pretty high in the first "Panther." Coogler plucked a comic-book fan favorite for one of the sequel's primary antagonists: Namor the Sub-Mariner, played by Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta Mejía.
With pointy ears and wings on his ankles, Namor rules the underwater kingdom of Talokan, a Mayan-inspired spin on Namor's Atlantis from the comics. It's another sophisticated landscape that hides itself from the world at large, though in the trailers for "Wakanda Forever," its people come to the surface to battle Wakanda.
Mejía is aware of how important the representation is to Latino fans. “We are here now, and we are not going anywhere,” he tells USA TODAY.
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Which other characters make their debut in 'Wakanda Forever'?
On the Talokan side, Namora (Mabel Cadena) – who in the comics is Namor's cousin – and the fearsome Attuma (Alex Livinalli) are introduced to the MCU, as is Michaela Coel as the Dora Milaje's combat instructor, Aneka.
One of the most important new personas in "Wakanda Forever" – especially in regard to Marvel's future – is Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne), a young American inventor who's designed her own advanced suit of armor a la Iron Man. She's been tapped to headline her own upcoming Disney+ series "Ironheart," executive produced by Coogler and slated to premiere next year.
So who is the new Black Panther?
The first "Wakanda Forever" trailer teased someone wearing a vibranium supersuit and the new one that dropped this week showed the person in full. There are some clues to the identity, though.
This Black Panther appears to be a woman – which makes sense considering Wakanda's numerous female warriors. And the design of the new hero's mask matches that of the face paint worn by Shuri, so it appears that the princess has taken over for her big brother. (In the comics, she inherits the Black Panther mantle when T'Challa is injured.)
And it's possible there's more than one Black Panther: The latest trailer includes a shot of two Black Panther helmets side by side.
What is Rihanna's new song in 'Black Panther'?
Rihanna takes the lead on the "Wakanda Forever" soundtrack, lending her voice to the movie's single "Lift Me Up."
The song, her first new music since 2016's "Anti" album, is a tribute to Boseman written by Tems, Rihanna, Ludwig Göransson and director Ryan Coogler.
The soft ballad with strings makes Rihanna's voice the focus as she sings a simple chorus: "Lift me up, Hold me down, Keep me close, Safe and sound."
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When will 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' stream on Disney+?
Tickets are on sale now for the film's theatrical run but fans will have to wait a little before being able to watch it at home. It took two months for the last Marvel film, "Thor: Love and Thunder," to go from theaters to Disney+, but if "Wakanda Forever" follows the 47-day window of recent films "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" and "Lightyear," fans will be streaming it just in time for New Year's Day.
Or perhaps Feige will embrace his inner Santa and give Wakanda lovers an early Christmas present.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Black Panther 2': Everything we know about Marvel's 'Wakanda Forever'