We've seen quite a bit of concept art from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever at this stage, but Phil Saunders has now shared a very early design for Shuri and Ironheart's costume from before Chadwick Boseman's passing.
As you can see, both outfits are significantly different to what ended up on screen. This was obviously before the decision was made to make Shuri the new Black Panther, so her costume was inspired by the winged suit she donned in the Ironheart comics.
“This is a tough one to post,” Saunders captioned his post “This was my earliest image for #blackpanther #wakandaforever, painted months before #chadwickboseman’s tragic passing. At the time we knew very little of the story for BP2 (which was destined to change in any case) so I was going off of the Wakandan run of the #ironheart comic book for tone and context. As you can see, the seeds of the final Mk2 suit were already there in the copper coloring, overall heart theme, the profile of the mask and even the introduction of braid-like vanes on the helmet. Here I was going for a much cleaner, skintight suit however, with an intersecting curve theme I imagined was Riri mathematically optimizing panel breakups for maximum flexibility.”
“During that period I did another image pairing Riri and Shuri that everyone loved at the time, but feels jarringly off-tone now,” he added. “It features the pair standing on a balcony in Wakanda, Riri (in prototype mk1 armor) obliviously taking a selfie with the princess like a wide-eyed tourist while Shuri gives her the grumpy side-eye, a reflection of their rocky start in the comics. Maybe by the time the art book comes out the loss won’t be so raw and we’ll be able to look back at it as a vision of what might have been in a more innocent time.”
As Saunders points out, he wasn't working off any specific story details when he came up with these designs, so even if Boseman hadn't died, there's nothing to say they would have been used for Ryan Coogler's sequel.
A post shared by Phil Saunders (@philjdsaunders)
What do you make of this alternate look for Shuri? Be sure to let us know in the comments section (you can check out our review here).
In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba), 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 War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda. Introducing Tenoch Huerta as Namor, king of a hidden undersea nation, the film also stars Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Mabel Cadena, and Alex Livanalli.
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