Black Panther: Wakanda Forever featured Letitia Wright’s Shuri as the MCU’s new Black Panther, complete with a fresh costume with gold and silver detailing. However, this design wasn’t the only one visual artists pitched to Marvel Studios.
One of the mysteries that the marketing for Wakanda Forever hid in its early promotional drive was the design of the new Black Panther suit. As a result, images from official merchandise gave fans glimpses of the costume before it officially hit the big screen in November 2022.
Ultimately, the sequel’s second trailer finally revealed what the new female Black Panther looks like. Since then, Wakanda Forever TV spots have showcased the new MCU hero fighting off enemies.
While Black Panther 2 is enjoying a strong box office run, new looks at unused designs for Shuri’s costume have been revealed.
Shuri’s Black Panther Had 15 Unused Designs
Several concept artists from Marvel Studios shared many rejected designs for Shuri’s Black Panther costume.
Marvel visual artist Adi Granov unveiled his “moody take” on Shuri’s costume, noting that he focused on athleticism and danger:
“Wakanda Forever Black Panther design. This was my moody take on the character trying to set the tone and the overall direction. I was focusing on athleticism and danger as well as trying to set out some signature lines, such as the cheekbone structure, gauntlets, etc. It was a really fun challenge.”
This rejected Black Panther design appears to be slicker but without the bead designs in its helmet that made the final cut:
Granov also has another different take on Shuri’s Black Panther costume, pointing out that the focus of this one is showing the “different materials and textures.”
However, the visual artist shared the producers “responded really well” to his previous design though:
“In this one, I focused on showing the different materials and textures as well as unifying shapes to the patterns carrying through the whole design. I was particularly happy with the gauntlet design integrating into the forearms. I think I have a tendency to go too far with some of this stuff and expect the producers to pick and choose elements they like, but it backfires as there is so much going on they lose the ability to take it all in. They responded really well to my previous image with this same design, which was focused on the mood and power, but seemed to have been overwhelmed when presented with it fully lit and rendered. Oh well. I’m extremely happy with it myself though.”
Marvel visual artist Wesley Burt shared a bunch of unused designs, starting with this Black Panther costume that appears to have a gold collar that stands out:
Shuri looks stunning in this minimalist design from Burt, which features gold rings around her neck, but with less gold accents than the final costume:
Another variation of the collar channels the original Black Panther costume design from the first movie, coming with a purple hue:
This Black Panther costume also has silver linings instead of gold:
Burt’s other Black Panther design features a more traditional look for the costume, which appears to resemble Shuri’s outfit in the Wakandan tradition of challenging for the throne:
Another interesting design comes with a fur collar around the neck, which is actually an Easter egg to Shuri’s Black Panther costume in the Dark Reign storyline:
Aside from Shuri’s long hair, this design also has a minimalist take with silver linings on the costume:
This design from Burt has another traditional vibe, with a red cloak draped down Shuri’s back:
In this design from Burt, Shuri’s Black Panther looks vastly different from the helmet all the way down to her (presumably) Wakandan sneakers:
A closer look at Shuri’s helmet reveals that it resembles an actual panther:
Karl Lindberg’s design has an over the top features that are filled with Wakandan technology, even coming with actual panther heads for her gauntlets:
Lindberg’s other design appears to be an alternate suit for Shuri that is designed to take down Namor and the Talokans in the sea:
Will Shuri Create a New Black Panther Suit?
It’s unfortunate that these designs were rejected by Marvel Studios since some of them would’ve been a better option for Shuri’s Black Panther costume in Wakanda Forever. Still, given that the sequel marks the first outing of the Wakandan princess as the MCU hero, it’s possible that a new suit will debut in her future adventures.
This is plausible, considering that Letitia Wright’s MCU character is fascinated with improvements and upgrades due to her technological brilliance. The rejected designs could be used to inspire future Black Panther outings while also adding Marvel’s own modifications.
Whatever the case, Shuri’s Black Panther is here to stay, thus leading to more advanced suits that could rival Iron Man’s upgrades in the MCU.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is playing in theaters worldwide.