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This Character Is The Odds-On Favorite To Become The New Black Panther

There is a lot of mystery surrounding "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" right now. 

The first "Black Panther" was a major success for Marvel Studios in 2018 — grossing over $1.3 billion at the box office (via Box Office Mojo) and becoming the first superhero film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The character of T'Challa (played by the late, great Chadwick Boseman) subsequently became one of the most popular heroes in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Boseman receiving overwhelming praise for his performance as the comic book superhero.

Taking all that into account, it seems safe to say that there was always going to be a lot of excitement surrounding Marvel's inevitable "Black Panther" sequel, as well as immense pressure to live up to the quality of its predecessor. The public interest in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" has grown exponentially following the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman last year. Fans all over the world are curious to see how Marvel plans to continue the superhero franchise without Boseman, and questions regarding the future of the Black Panther character within the MCU are at the forefront of all the ongoing conversations surrounding the sequel. Just about the only thing we do know is that he definitely won't be a recast T'Challa.

The most popular choice to take on the Black Panther mantle

Marvel fans have been speculating for several months now about how "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" will deal with Boseman's death. The film's producers have, thankfully, gone on record to say that there will not be a CGI version of the actor in the sequel (via Deadline), but they've also remain tight-lipped about how the film will pass on the Black Panther mantle from Boseman's T'Challa to another character. That hasn't stopped fans from speculating about that very topic. There's one character, in particular, who is the leading choice to become the MCU's new Black Panther.

According to the online betting site, MyBookie (via CBR), the character with the greatest odds to take on the Black Panther title in "Wakanda Forever" right now is T'Challa's sister, Shuri (Letitia). Lupita Nyong'o's Nakia is listed as the second most likely character, followed by Danai Gurira's Okoye. Other characters included on the list — in order of most to least likely — are Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger, Winston Duke's M'Baku, and Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes.

Shuri became an instant fan-favorite character in the MCU following her debut in 2018's "Black Panther," and she's the character many have said they'd like to see become the new Black Panther in the wake of Boseman's passing. It'd make sense for Shuri to take on the mantle too, based on both her popularity and her high standing within Wakanda. But it should also be noted that it's possible Marvel won't have anyone assume the superhero title in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," especially since the film is said to focus heavily on many of the supporting characters introduced in the first film, as well as on further exploring Wakanda itself.

That being said, if Marvel does end up handing over the Black Panther title to another character, don't be surprised if it's Shuri.