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'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' First Reactions: 'Epic' and 'Heartfelt'

Viewers have hailed Marvel's latest as a cathartic and intimate triumph which tackles grief and the loss of star Chadwick Boseman.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm
Actor Lupita Nyong'o laughs as she hugs Marvel boss Kevin Feige on the red carpet of the premiere of the movie Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Lupita Nyong'o hugs Marvel boss Kevin Feige at the LA Premiere of Wakanda Forever.

Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Disney

Marvel movies and TV shows come along so often you might not get as excited about them anymore. But Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which just premiered in Hollywood, feels like something special as the first reactions hail a film both intimate and spectacular.

It's the sequel to Marvel's smash hit 2018 film, but director Ryan Coogler and the cast and crew were rocked by the the death in August 2020 of lead actor Chadwick Boseman. The film's stars have described the new film as a tribute to their late friend.

Black Panther 2 sees the film's characters wrestling with the loss of Boseman's character, Wakandan ruler T'Challa. Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M'Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the fearsome Dora Milaje must face new friends and enemies, including Riri Williams AKA Ironheart (Dominique Thorne) and underwater prince Namor (Tenoch Huerta).

Full reviews for Wakanda Forever will appear closer to the film's release in theaters on Nov. 11, but in the meantime here's some early reactions.

CNET's Sean Keane was among the first viewers, calling Wakanda Forever "a triumph" that  balances grief, hope and visual style. 

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