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Filming for 'Black Panther' Sequel Will Halt as Letitia Wright Recovers From an Injury

Harper's Bazaar logo Harper's Bazaar 11/6/2021 Erica Gonzales, Amy Mackelden, Quinci LeGardye

Fans have been waiting for a follow-up to Black Panther ever since the film’s immense success in 2018. However, that eager anticipation turned into heartbreak in the summer of 2020, when the film’s lead hero, Chadwick Boseman, passed away after a private battle with cancer. His loss sent shockwaves among fans, fellow actors, and the entertainment industry as a whole.

Disney finally revealed when Marvel's next 'Black Panther' will be released in theaters, and whether Chadwick Boseman's character of T 'Challa will be recast. © Jesse Grant - Getty Images Disney finally revealed when Marvel's next 'Black Panther' will be released in theaters, and whether Chadwick Boseman's character of T 'Challa will be recast.

On top of grieving the loss of a real-life and on-screen hero, some also wondered what would become of the groundbreaking role Boseman brought to life? The Black Panther sequel was already announced in 2019, and months after Boseman’s passing, Marvel has confirmed that the show will go on in a manner that honors the late actor’s legacy.

Here's what we know about the Black Panther sequel so far.

The role of T 'Challa won't be recast or digitally replicated.

Months after Boseman's passing, Disney confirmed, "Honoring Chadwick Boseman’s legacy & portrayal of T’Challa, @MarvelStudios will not recast the character, but will explore the world of Wakanda & the rich characters introduced in the first film."

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige doubled down on this statement, adding that the film won't have "a CG Chadwick."

"So much of the comics and that first movie is the world of Wakanda," Feige told Deadline in January 2021. "Wakanda is a place to further explore with characters and different subcultures. This was always and initially the primary focus of the next story. We’re not going to have a CG Chadwick and we’re not recasting T’Challa. Ryan Coogler is working very hard right now on the script with all the respect and love and genius that he has, which gives us great solace, so it was always about furthering the mythology and the inspiration of Wakanda. There’s also the task of honoring and respecting the ongoing learnings and teachings from Chad as well."

The film is not coming out until 2022.

Black Panther 2 is expected to hit theaters on July 8, 2022, making it a prime summer blockbuster. The film will open two months after its original planned release date of May 6.

The official title is Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

We can let go of the Black Panther 2 placeholder title. Marvel revealed that the sequel will officially be titled Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in a video teasing the MCU's upcoming properties.

text, logo: black panther © Marvel Studios/YouTube black panther

Most of the cast will be back. Look for fresh faces too.

Though the roster has not yet been confirmed, it's likely we'll once again see Lupita Nyong 'o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda, Winston Duke as M 'Baku, and Daniel Kaluuya as W 'Kabi, as well as Martin Freeman as CIA agent Everett K. Ross.

Despite questions of Michael B. Jordan's return as Killmonger, Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige said the speculation is "pure rumor."

Narcos star Tenoch Huerta is also reportedly joining the film as an antagonist, but details of his role remain unknown.

Ryan Coogler is returning to direct.

Disney confirmed in its December 2020 announcement that Coogler "is writing and directing" the Black Panther sequel.

In an previous interview with IndieWire, Coogler discussed Black Panther 2 and said, "When it comes to making a sequel, I've never done it before, a sequel to something that I've directed myself. So I think there's going to be a lot of pressure there, but what we're going to try to do is just focus on the work, like we always do."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Marvel wanted to keep the creative team as intact as possible and a sequel was never in any real doubt."

Production has begun.

Filming officially kicked off on June 29 at Pinewood Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, Kevin Feige confirmed to Variety.

“It’s clearly very emotional without Chad,” he told the outlet. “But everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans. We’re going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud.”

The Hollywood Reporter previously reported that shooting would last for about six months. The team was originally planning to start filming in March 2021, but plans changed after Boseman passed.

The cast is dedicated to carrying on Boseman's legacy.

On Good Morning America, Nyong 'o shared a brief update about continuing the franchise after Boseman's passing.

"It's gonna be a hard one … its gonna be different without our king, to go back into that world," she said in a March 3 interview. "But I know that all of us are dedicated to reimagining or carrying on his legacy in this new Black Panther. And Ryan Coogler has some really, really exciting ideas that I look forward to bringing to life with the rest of the family."

Michaela Coel is in the cast.

The I May Destroy You creator and lead actress has joined the ensemble cast of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Variety reports. Details about her character are still under wraps, but Coel has already joined director Ryan Coogler and the cast in Atlanta, where production began in June. We'll be anxiously waiting for more info.

Michaela Coel posing for the camera: Coel at the European premiere of Black Panther in 2018. © Tim P. Whitby - Getty Images Coel at the European premiere of Black Panther in 2018.

The film will introduce new superhero Ironheart.

Kevin Feige revealed in an interview with that the superhero Ironheart, a.k.a. Riri Williams, will make her debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ahead of her upcoming solo Disney+ series. Judas and the Black Messiah actor Dominique Thorne, who will portray Riri Williams/Ironheart, has reportedly joined the cast in Atlanta.

“We’re shooting Black Panther: Wakanda Forever right now, and the character of Riri Williams, you will meet in Black Panther 2 first. She started shooting, I think, this week before her Ironheart series,” Feige said, per Variety.

Introduced in the Marvel comics in 2016, Riri is a 15-year-old MIT student who's basically smarter than Tony Stark, and reverse-engineers Iron Man's suit to create her own suit of armor. In the comics, Williams gets Stark's blessing to become the superhero Ironheart, but it looks like the MCU version of Ironheart will get her start among the Wakandans instead.

a person posing for the camera: Dominique Thorne at the If Beale Street Could Talk premiere in 2018. © Gary Gershoff - Getty Images Dominique Thorne at the If Beale Street Could Talk premiere in 2018.

Filming will temporarily shut down as Letitia Wright heals from an on-set injury.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, filming on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has temporarily halted as Letitia Wright heals from an injury. Wright, who plays fan-favorite tech wiz Shuri, was injured last August while shooting a sequence involving a stunt rig on-location in Boston. She has been healing since, with production shooting around her scenes for the past few months.

Production has reportedly filmed all of the scenes it can without Wright. Though Marvel Studios said at the time that her injury wouldn't affect filming, sources now tell THR that production reconfigure the shoot during the break, to get things back on track for an early 2022 restart. The film's release date is still set for November 11, 2022.

"Letitia has been recovering in London since September from injuries sustained on the set of Black Panther 2 and is looking forward to returning to work early 2022," a representative for Wright told THR. "Letitia kindly asks that you keep her in your prayers."


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