Black Panther II: Wakanda Forever – An Open Movie Treatment

I felt shocked when I heard the news on Friday night regarding Mr. Chadwick Boseman’s death. Though I mourned the loss of what seemed to be a genuinely good man and an obviously exceptional actor, I empathized especially with all the children who saw themselves in Black Panther. To them, they lost a hero. I understood the tremendous loss to those adults who envisioned an ideal when they heard the words “Wakanda Forever.” To them, they lost a movement.

My brain started turning and turning on Friday night. Though I have no affiliation with Disney or Marvel, I wanted to find a way to honor Mr. Chadwick Boseman, to honor the children who love Black Panther, and to honor those adults who believe in Wakanda Forever.

This treatment is the result of that inspiration. I gladly give it to Marvel and Disney Studios as a small token of appreciation to Mr. Chadwick Bosmeman and to all who made the first Black Panther a cultural phenomenon. This story must continue. It’s not T’Challa Forever. It’s not even Black Panther Forever. It’s Wakanda Forever.

Black Panther II: Wakanda Forever – An open treatment by Scott William Foley

  • Fade in to text – “In Loving Memory Of Chadwick Boseman”
  • Fade out
  • Fade in to massive funeral in Wakanda full of global dignitaries
  • Near the casket stands Ramonda, Shuri, Nakia, Okoye, W’Kabi, and M’Baku
  • Further out stands Everett Ross and several Avengers
  • Near the back stands presidents, kings, and everything in between
  • Victor Von Doom, adorned in Latverian royal garb, stands next to Namor, who wears the armor and crown of Atlantis–both are kings
  • Namor sneers while saying he was to renew a peace treaty with King T’Challa next month
  • Doom growls that he has no peace treaties with any nation–including Atlantis
  • Namor mentions a global power vacuum with King T’Challa dead
  • From under his hood, Doom watches the extravagant proceedings
  • Days later, Wakanda unanimously names Shuri Queen of Wakanda and heir to the title of Black Panther
  • Shuri does not want the crown; she wants to return to her work in Oakland; she wants to find a cure to cancer so that no one else has to suffer like T’Challa privately did; she is not given a choice–she is named Queen
  • Weeks later, she meets with King Namor of Atlantis in her Wakanda throne room
  • He refuses to renew their peace treaty and warns Queen Shuri of Victor Von Doom and his enslaved nation Latveria
  • During their meeting, Victor Von Doom attacks both Wakanda and Atlantis with his army of technologicaly advanced war machines
  • Wakanda easily dispels the attack; Queen Shuri has electronic eyes and ears everywhere; she cannot be outsmarted
  • Namor races to Atlantis where a fierce battle ensues
  • It isn’t until Shuri’s forces arrive that Doom’s army is driven away
  • Namor is furious that Shuri did not warn him
  • Shuri had no intelligence regarding the attack on Atlantis; Doom used Wakanda as a decoy to procure Atlantian technology
  • General Okoye demands Namor sign a peace treaty with Wakanda; though with great fuss, he does so
  • Shuri studies Doom; she confirms he has enslaved his entire nation; he steals the most advanced technology he can find; he experiments on his own enslaved people; he wears cybernetic armor stolen from Tony Stark’s blueprints beneath his robes; he is supposedly kept alive only by that armor
  • As Black Panther, Shuri independently invades Victor Von Doom’s castle
  • Her suit’s technology is superior to every defense Doom has at his disposal
  • They end up battling face to face in Doom’s throne room
  • She mortally wounds him; as he lay dying, she rips off his face plate to see a ravaged, hideous face
  • She offers him the choice to free his nation and live, or die right then and there
  • He agrees to free the slaves; Shuri’s suit broadcasts the declaration in real time across the world
  • Shuri takes out a device and injects Victor Von Doom while saying, “I couldn’t save my brother, but now no one else has to suffer–including you.”
  • She injects Victor Von Doom; his wounds heal, his face heals, his body is completely renewed
  • Shuri says, “Wakanda Forver isn’t a catchphrase. It’s gospel. Now more than ever.”
  • Nakia and Ramonda arrive soon thereafter and serve as advisors to Latveria’s new government
  • Doom is imprisoned by the people of Latveria
  • Queen Shuri, the Black Panther, returns to Wakanda
  • She briefly appears on a deck overlooking thousands of cheering citizens, to whom she waves
  • She then heads to her lab
  • Credits roll
  • After credits stinger: A peaceful protest at night in front of The White House; protesters are on their knees with their hands up chanting, “Don’t shoot/Hands up”; the police are using loudspeakers to beg the protesters to disperse, that the President’s security cannot be jeopardized; a stealth craft appears overhead without warning; everyone panics–the police, the secret service, the protesters; Black Panther drops from the craft onto the pavement and faces the protesters; she slowly turns, faces the police, removes her mask, drops to her knees, lifts her hands, and joins in the chant; total silence with camera on Shuri’s face; fade to black; text appears as this quote from Chadwick Boseman: “The only difference between a hero and the villain is that the villain chooses to use that power in a way that is selfish and hurts other people.”

Da 5 Bloods – A Movie Review

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With Da 5 Bloods, Spike Lee has delivered a film full of incredible performances and stunning visuals, but also a film that is inconsistent.

Da 5 Bloods is a Netflix original movie. Netflix is an attractive collaborator for creators because they reportedly exert very little resistance. Spike Lee, Damien Chazelle, Martin Scorsese, Joel and Ethan Coen, Steven Soderbergh, and Alfonso Cuarón are all noteworthy directors who have opted to throw in with Netflix. Such creative freedom, though, can sometimes lead to overabundance.

At just over two and a half hours, Da 5 Bloods is simply too long for the story it chooses to depict. The plot centers around four black Vietnam veterans who have returned to Vietnam in order to locate their squad leader’s body, which they had to leave behind decades before … and also to find dozens of gold bars they hid in the wilderness.

If the film had centered on either one of those two things, it would have been far stronger. As it stands, however, it tries to do both, which results in tone shifts that are jarring to the viewer. The portions relating to their felled leader are poignant, insightful, and evocative. The parts pertaining to the lost treasure are cliched, forced, and borderline absurd.

Even so, there are some amazing performances in Da 5 Bloods. Delroy Lindo deserves nothing less than a “Best Actor” Oscar for his work. He offers a very real, very conflicted human being that we both love and hate. His trauma from Vietnam is heartbreaking. Watching Lindo act makes the film worth your time. He is mesmerizing.

Furthermore, Chadwick Boseman yet again lights up the screen. Frankly speaking, other than Delroy Lindo, no one can keep up with Boseman in Da 5 Bloods. He shines during his scenes in a way that simply overpowers everyone else. Boseman is a gifted movie star, through and through.

Jonathan Majors plays David, the son of Delroy Lindo’s character. I’m not familiar with Majors, but he also won me over. Lee keeps David a bit of an enigma in the beginning of the film–we aren’t quite sure what to think of him. Majors plays the part perfectly as David is the only character that actually shows real change throughout the duration of the movie.

That being said, I liked the other three men played by Norm Lewis, Clarke Peters, and Isiah Whitlock, Jr., just as I was supposed to like them. If I’m being honest, though, the writers didn’t give them much to do or say beyond their initial introduction. Those three men seem to essentially repeat the same lines throughout the entire film. Which leads me to my next issue …

Da 5 Bloods’ writing is erratic. I found the dialogue overly repetitive and one-dimensional which, in my opinion, gave the actors less to work with. Lee likes to sprinkle in some history throughout the film, which I enjoyed and learned from, but as the characters talk about this history it seems very wooden and pedantic–not natural to the characters at all. Though the actors are not stiff, their dialogue is.

Also, there were some outlandish coincidences in Da 5 Bloods, coincidences that, at times, stupefied me. I won’t spoil anything, but there are at least three unbelievable moments that are, shall we say, verging upon ridiculous.

Finally, as touched upon earlier, Da 5 Bloods’ tone is literally all over the place. The film starts out as a buddy story with old veterans reconnecting. (There’s a scene where they actually strut dance in a Vietnamese nightclub.) Then they go on a fun-loving treasure hunt. Then they haphazardly search for their dead friend’s body. Then things get very, very violent.

There is no doubt that Spike Lee is a brilliant filmmaker and a tremendously relevant voice. His timing with this movie is both cosmically coincidental and monumentally important. As a nation, we need to remember that black soldiers and freedom fighters have been guaranteeing our country’s ideology since the very beginning even as their own personal rights were being trampled upon. Lee also successfully portrays the PTSD not just of soldiers in general, but even more specifically of African Americans who served in the military.

I truthfully wanted to love Da 5 Bloods. I entered the movie without a shred of objectivity–I was fully prepared to write a rave review, especially because critics seem to adore it. But it would be a disservice to Spike Lee himself if I denied my criticisms. It’s still a very watchable film, however, with extremely important messages. And, like I said, Delroy Lindo’s performance alone is well worth your time.