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Why ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ got premiered in Lagos



In a notable first, the latest Marvel movie, ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’, premiered officially in Lagos, Nigeria over the weekend.

By Mariam Abdullahi

On November 6, Sunday evening, and days ahead of the film’s theatrical release on November 11, ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ was premiered in Lagos Nigeria. Written and directed by Ryan Coogler, who helmed the first film, it is expected to be a blockbuster just like the first film. The cast, as well as the director, visited Lagos to launch a continent-wide series of premieres, with the Nigerian one starting off as the main one.

It also kicked off continent-wide celebrations ahead of the release of ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’. The film continues with the story of T’Challa, the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, and it stars Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Tenoch Huerta, Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, and Tenoch Huerta as anti-hero/villain Namor (also known as the Sub-Mariner in the comics).

Winston Duke attends the African Premiere of Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” on November 6, 2022 in Lagos, Nigeria. (Photo by for Disney)

There was a Sunday morning press conference with some cast and crew members at Lagos Continental Hotel. Director Coogler, who snagged an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture for the first ‘Black Panther’ movie, said Lagos has a lot of history and cultural significance for filmmakers. He also informed the ecstatic audience that he recently took a genealogy test that revealed his lineage.

Coogler said: “If you know African American history, it’s tough for us to trace our genetic lineage. So one of the things I spoke with the late Chadwick Boseman about when we first met and were getting ready to put his movie on was that he put me up on something called It was specific about finding out where you have a heritage. Chad had done his own, and he explained how it is done. So when I did mine, it came back as having lineage to a part of Cameroon, but mainly Yoruba lineage. It was something that I held on to and always wanted to travel to Nigeria for that reason.”

Letitia Wright interacts with fans at the African Premiere of Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ on November 6, 2022 in Lagos, Nigeria. (Photo by for Disney)

Coogler also said while different parts of Africa influenced the film, Nigerian culture exudes a specific energy that is hard to ignore. That feeling is evident in the striking soundtrack of the film, which has Rihanna’s first song in over half-a-decade, co-written by Nigerian sensation Tems. It also features powerful songs by other Nigerian artistes like Burna Boy, Fireboy DML, Ckay, Rema, Tobe Nwigwe and Fat Nwigwe, including a cover of Bob Marley’s ‘No Woman No Cry’ by Tems.

‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ is probably the most highly-anticipated film of the year, a direct sequel to 2018’s ‘Black Panther’, which starred Chadwick Boseman, who died in 2020 of Colon Cancer aged 43.

Danai Gurira chats with fans

‘Wakanda Forever’ sees Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and the Dora Milaje fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) to forge a new path for the kingdom. The film introduces Tenoch Huerta as Namor, king of a hidden undersea nation.

‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ premieres on Nov. 11.

L-R: Lupita N’yongo, Danai Gurira, and Letitia Wright, in Lagos, Nigeria, for the African premiere of ‘Wakanda Forever’


Will Smith to star in sci-fi thriller ‘Resistor’ from Sony Pictures



Following the success of “Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” Will Smith is teaming up again with Sony Pictures for the sci-fi thriller “Resistor,” based on Daniel Suarez’s 2014 novel “Influx.” The movie hails from Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch and Tony Shaw of Escape Artists, which has been developing the project for years alongside Smith and Jon Mone through Westbrook. Heather Washington is executive producing, and Dave Wilson is a producer.

“Bullet Train” scribe Zak Olkewicz wrote the first draft, while Eric Singer (“Top Gun: Maverick,” “American Hustle”) penned the latest draft. The film is in development and currently in search of a director.

The plot of the film is under wraps, but “Influx” takes place in a dystopian society in which the government uses shady tactics to prevent technological advancement.

Smith’s latest effort with Sony Pictures, the fourth installment in the action comedy franchise “Bad Boys,” has collected $113 million and counting at the domestic box office, and $215.5 million globally. The franchise recently crossed the $1 billion mark at the global box office.

Those box office results marked a big win for Smith, whose career was in jeopardy after he slapped Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars. In fact, “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” nods to that infamous moment with a scene in which Martin Lawrence repeatedly slaps Smith in the face to get him back into his “bad boy” self.

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Marvel’s ‘Blade’ reboot loses director…again



The Blade reboot has gotten more bad news. After multiple production delays and setbacks, the film has now lost its director… again.

Filmmaker Yann Demange is no longer set to direct the Blade reboot for Marvel Studios. It’s reported that the parting was amicable, but no further clarification was offered as to why Demange departed the project. He becomes the second director to leave the film after first signing on, following the previous departure of Bassim Tariq. Tariq left the project in 2022 after signing on in 2021, and Demange’s hiring was announced in November 2022.

The new Blade movie has similarly been juggling out writers and reportedly undergoing several rewrites. Stacy Osei-Kuffour was brought on board to write a draft in 2021, while it was reported upon Demange’s hiring the following year that Michael Starrbury would rewrite the script. True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto and Logan co-writer Michael Green have also been attached to contribute to the screenplay at different points. The latest word is that Eric Pearson, who worked on Black Widow and the upcoming films Thunderbolts and The Fantastic Four, is writing the newest draft of Blade.

Reportedly, the Blade reboot is planned to start filming in Fall 2024 to make a November 2025 release date. There’s still time for a new director to be hired in order to continue on with the planned production schedule. With that noted, it’s also possible the movie could end up getting pushed back once again. There were previous rumors that star Mahershala Ali nearly walked away from the project over frustrations with the screenwriting process, though he publicly teased in December 2023 that he was happy with the current direction of the story.

“We’re working on it,” Ali told Entertainment Weekly. “That’s the best I could tell you. I’m really encouraged with the direction of the project. I think we’ll be back at it relatively soon… I’m sincerely encouraged in terms of where things are at and who’s on board and who’s leading the way as far as the writing of the script and the directing and all that. So that’s the extent of what I can tell you.”

The Blade reboot was officially announced by Marvel Studios at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019. In July, it will mark five full years since the movie was first announced. Ali later made his debut in the role with a voice cameo in the 2021 film Eternals.

Blade is scheduled to be released in theaters on Nov. 7, 2025.

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Deadpool & Wolverine director to helm ‘Avengers 5’



Director Shawn Levy may be sticking around the Marvel Cinematic Universe a bit longer. After he helmed this summer’s “Deadpool and Wolverine,” the director is being eyed by Marvel — though it’s in very early stages — to direct the next “Avengers” movie.

Destin Daniel Cretton, who made 2021’s Marvel movie “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” was previously supposed to direct the fifth “Avengers” movie, but he backed out in November 2023. That movie, which is scheduled for May 1, 2026, also does not currently have a title. It was originally named “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty,” but lost that title after Jonathan Majors, who was cast as the time-traveling villain Kang the Conqueror, was convicted of assaulting and harassing his ex-girlfriend. After this untitled “Avengers” movie, the next will be “Avengers: Secret Wars,” set for May 7, 2027.

Levy’s “Deadpool and Wolverine,” which brings together the iconic superheroes played by Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman in Fox’s X-Men universe, will hit theaters on July 26. It will be the first “Deadpool” movie released by Disney after it acquired 20th Century Fox, and it marks the first R-rated MCU movie. Not to mention, it’ll officially bring Fox’s mutants into the proper MCU timeline, which fans have been clamoring for since the acquisition.

Levy previously worked with Reynolds on the 2022 family adventure movie “The Adam Project” (which included Marvel actors Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldaña) and 2021’s “Free Guy” (which had Easter eggs nodding to Captain America and Hulk). He’s also worked with Jackman on the 2011 action movie “Real Steel.”

Source: Variety

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