By Ron Wynn

NASHVILLE, TN — Few sequels or follow-up films in recent years have been more anticipated than the upcoming “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Coming nearly four years after “Black Panther,” what should be one of the year’s biggest selling films makes its debut in many theaters Friday. It’s set  in the aftermath of King T’Challa’s death. As his family and the rest of the kingdom mourn, they’re thrust into a fight to protect their small but mighty nation as it finds itself under attack from nefarious world powers.

Once again, the film will also be available to stream on Disney + following its release to theaters, a practice that remains controversial in some quarters. But this has become standard practice with all Marvel films. 

While some Disney films, including “Jungle Cruise” and “Mulan,” were available for purchase with Disney+ Premier Access, releasing simultaneously on digital platforms as well as theatrically, Disney has now abolished that model. Instead, recent Disney and Marvel films have been released in theaters, arriving on Disney+ after a window of anywhere from 45 to 70 days after their theatrical premiere. That means that “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” could arrive right around the Christmas holiday this year, or in early 2023.

Disney+ is available via internet connection if you live in Australia, Austria, Canada, the Channel Islands, France, Germany, India, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Italy, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom or the U.S. Disney’s direct-to-consumer streaming platform can be accessed from desktop browsers, mobile devices, game consoles and more.

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is the 30th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and one of the most anticipated films of 2022. The film co-stars original “Black Panther” actors Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, all of whom will reprise their roles from the original film. Chadwick Boseman, who portrayed King T’Challa, the titular Black Panther in the original film as well as in “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: End Game,” died of colon cancer in 2020. The new film will not feature a new actor portraying the character of Black Panther; instead, the story is set after the death of King T’Challa, a loss which threatens the safety of Wakanda and its inhabitants.

The film, which is directed by Ryan Coogler,  will also introduce new characters played by Tenoch Huerta, Dominique Thorne and Michaela Coel.