Shuri and Riri in Wakanda Forever

This Is What Letitia Wright Loved About Shuri and Riri in ‘Wakanda Forever’

One of the amazing things about Black Panther was that it gave us arguably the smartest person in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Shuri. Played by Letitia Wright, we met her as the younger sister of T’Challa and the princess of Wakanda, but she also was a brilliant scientist who loved to work in her lab, and it was wonderful to see.

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So coming into Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (which our Princess Weekes beautifully reviewed), the question for me was one of how Shuri would react to Riri Williams, another young, brilliant scientist who we see with Shuri in the trailers. While the movie is still not out, at the press conference after a screening, my heart was filled with the reactions between the two.

When it came time to ask a question, I instantly knew I wanted to talk to Letitia Wright about the dynamic between Shuri and Dominique Thorne’s Riri. My question, asked to the cast from the brilliant moderator Jacqueline Coley from Rotten Tomatoes, was “Shuri has become one of the smartest, if not the smartest, people in the MCU since her introduction, and now she’s joined by another genius in her friendship with Riri. What was that dynamic like on set between you two, and what excited you about Shuri and Riri’s relationship?”

And for Wright, she gushed over her co-star and how amazing it was for the two of them to be on set together. “It was so much fun,” she said. “Really excited for Dominique and her performance you guys are about to see. She is incredible. Riri is so much fun, and I just love the fact that we get a beautiful opportunity to see another Black, young girl just be a genius and just be at school just doing her thing and inspire so many.”

But Wright went on to talk about how some of her favorite scenes in the film are the ones where she got to work off of Danai Gurira’s Okoye and Thorne. “So that was a cool connection. So many cool scenes between myself, Dominique, and Okoye. Some of my most favorite scenes,” she said. “I couldn’t cope on set like, you know what it was, you have to be like yo, yo, yo, pause, pause pause. Like, because we’re just busting up in the corner laughing because like, we’re just bouncing off of each other, so much fun.  So excited for you guys to see.”

The importance of Shuri and Riri

The two are some of the smartest in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe and they are two young Black women and seeing them on screen together and working off each other is some of the greatest moments of Wakanda Forever. Their energy is electric and I could have watched the two of them in a lab together for hours.

But both Wright and Thorne bring a weight to their characters that balances with their eager energy and gives both Riri and Shuri layers that work well together. I hope we get to see so much more of the two of them in the future and after my question at the press conference, it seems like Letitia Wright would love that too.

(featured image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her current obsession is Glen Powell's dog, Brisket. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.