The first reactions to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever are here following the Ryan Coogler-directed sequel’s Hollywood premiere.
The film, set to hit theaters next month, arrives four years after the Chadwick Boseman-led original. In 2020, Boseman died at the age of 43 due to complications from colon cancer. “Lift Me Up,” a new Rihanna song featured on the film’s soundtrack and slated for release this Friday, was recently revealed to have been written as a tribute to the late actor.
“After speaking with Ryan and hearing his direction for the film and the song, I wanted to write something that portrays a warm embrace from all the people that I’ve lost in my life,” Tems, who’s among those credited as a writer on the upcoming track, said earlier this week. “I tried to imagine what it would feel like if I could sing to them now and express how much I miss them. Rihanna has been an inspiration to me so hearing her convey this song is a great honor.”
In addition to Tems and Rihanna, Coogler is also credited as a writer on the song, as is composer Ludwig Göransson.
The track itself has received multiple mentions amid the early reactions to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, formal reviews for which are expected to start being rolled out next week. In the meantime, see a sampling of premiere-spurred initial takes below, including praise for Coogler’s direction and moving reflections on how the film continues to honor Boseman’s legacy.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, starring Letitia Wright and Lupita Nyong’o, opens Nov. 11 in the U.S. One week earlier, the soundtrack album (Rihanna song included) will hit streaming services.