A few days ago, the first trailer for #RyanCoogler's Black Panther movie debuted, giving fans quite an in-depth look at what the film has to offer. Between the warring people of Wakanda and the return of Ulysses Klaue, it should make for an entertaining plot. And that's just the start. #BlackPanther will also introduce us to several influential characters who potentially have major roles to play in the MCU. One character in particular has has fallen under that spotlight: Shuri.
Shuri will be played by #LetitiaWright, best known for her part in the AMC series Humans. But she appears to have made the transition from television to a tentpole movie quite easily. It's a role that has potentially opened the door for her to appear in several more #Marvel movies after Black Panther for a few reasons.
Shuri Is Set Up To Play A Key Role In The MCU
As Shuri, Wright's role in Black Panther is that of sister to the current king of Wakanda, T'Challa. A confidant of T'Challa and protector of the Wakandan kingdom, her comic counterpart is princess of Wakanda but it's unclear if the MCU version is one and the same. Shuri's role as princess aside, she has an even more integral part to play.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Coogler revealed that Shuri will be responsible for developing vibranium-based technology. The first sample of her work on display was of her brandishing a pair of twin blasters in the trailer.
Coogler also mentioned that Shuri's blasters are just "one" of the devices she creates, which more than implies that she's familiar with crafting various weapons out of vibranium. That said, it'll be interesting to see what other vibranium-based devices Shuri creates; it's possible her creations won't just be limited to the people of Wakanda. As we've already seen, there are a few characters in the MCU who have used the rare metal and will need it again.
The last time we saw Steve Rogers' shield, for example, it had been taken by Tony Stark and presumably placed in a secured storage facility, leaving Cap without his signature weapon. However, the post-credits scene of Captain America: Civil War depicted T'Challa and Steve Rogers coming to an accord over Bucky Barnes, meaning the two have likely formed an alliance of sorts. If that's the case, T'Challa will probably commission a new shield be made for Cap in light of the events of Civil War. It would make sense that he'd have a new bionic arm crafted for Bucky Barnes, as well, Bucky's Winter Soldier arm having been ripped off during the same fight in which Steve lost his shield.
Will Shuri Make Vibranium Weapons For The Avengers Or For Villains Of The MCU?
In most contexts, the prospect of Bucky getting a vibranium arm from a patriot of Wakanda wouldn't seem believable. But, considering how Shuri is set up to be a researcher and scientist dedicated to developing more vibranium based tech, that scenario now seems plausible. It particularly makes sense in light of the fact Bucky is still cryogenically frozen in Wakanda, so his presence in the forbidden city might be accompanied with an upgrade when he wakes up. In any case, it needs to happen by the time #InfinityWar rolls around; we already know he'll be in the movie and he'd be rather useless without his bionic arm.
Of course, we'll have to wait and see what Shuri's motives are before we make any assumptions about what devices she'll make out of the sacred metal. While the comics mostly depict Shuri as a loyal follower to T'Challa, she at one point wanted the title of Black Panther for herself. If that element of her comic counterpart is present in the movie, then we could see Shuri become an antagonist rather than an ally to T'Challa. Plus, the focus of Black Panther will be on two warring clans fighting for control of Wakanda, which may or may not place Shuri in the position to leave T'Challa's side for an opposing regime. In which case, she could align herself with Erik Killmonger, M'Baku, or Ulysses Klaue as part of a coup to claim the mantle of Black Panther.
Regardless of the number of potential scenarios, Coogler himself has confirmed Shuri is the researcher responsible for developing vibranium tech, even comparing her to Tony Stark—giving us reason to believe Shuri will become the ingenious mind responsible for a wave of a vibranium-based arsenal in the #MCU. Who knows, maybe Shuri will even partner up with Tony Stark at some point to create a full Iron Man armor made of vibranium. Black Panther is expected to tie in directly with #AvengersInfinityWar after all, so we shouldn't count out the potential for Shuri and Tony Stark to work together.
Do you think Shuri will be responsible for Cap and Bucky getting their shield and arm back, respectively? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Black Panther debuts in theaters on February 16, 2018.