Posted on Wednesday, June 30th, 2021 by
Black Panther 2, AKA Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is now filming at Pinewood Studios in Atlanta. The news is slightly surprising because there’s still so much we don’t know about the film. And while most MCU movies have an air of secrecy, Wakanda Forever is particularly mysterious. But Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige confirmed that the Ryan Coogler-directed sequel is now before cameras.
While speaking with, Kevin Feige revealed that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has already begun filming. “It’s clearly very emotional without Chad,” Feige said, referring to Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, who died unexpectedly last year. “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.”
Boseman’s death has created many questions for Black Panther 2. Normally, we’d have a general idea of what to expect from the sequel – more adventures featuring Black Panther himself, T’Challa. But Marvel has made it clear they have no plans to recast the role (or worse, use digital trickery to bring Boseman back). Which means we really have no idea how this is going to play out. The general assumption at this point is that Letitia Wright as Shuri, Black Panther’s sister, will take over – but we still don’t have all the details.
What We Know
So what do we know about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever? Well, first off, we know it’s filming in Georgia. Recently, Georgia has enacted voter suppression laws that had some people urging Hollywood to stop shooting in the state (many, many films shoot in Georgia due to tax breaks). But Ryan Coogler:
“Having now spoken with voting rights activists in the state, I have come to understand that many of the people employed by my film, including all the local vendors and businesses we engage, are the very same people who will bear the brunt of SB202. For those reasons, I will not be engaging in a boycott of Georgia. What I will be doing is using my voice to emphasize the effects of SB202, its shameful roots in Jim Crow, and doing all I can to support organizations fighting voter suppression here in the state.”
Beyond that, we know that the following cast members are returning: Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Winston Duke as M’Baku, and Angela Bassett as Ramonda.
Freeman confirmed his return earlier this year,:
“Yeah, I am doing the second Black Panther. I’m going to be speaking to Ryan Coogler soon about what shape that’s going to look like. I have no idea about the script [so] I don’t know what’s going to happen. Just before Chadwick died, if my memory serves correctly, the script had gone in. They had the script and they were working on the script, and then Chadwick died, and [I] sort of immediately thought, ‘Oh, okay, I could see a world where there’s no Black Panther then, because how can you do a Black Panther without Black Panther?’ So, I still don’t know what that’s going to look like. And no, obviously, before Chad died, the idea of doing it without him would have been a stupid idea. It would have been crazy. It was very shocking, and still is very, very strange, that he is not here. So, I’m as curious as you are to see what that will look like and I find out quite soon. All I know is that I’m in it.”
Dealing With the Death of Chadwick Boseman
As Freeman’s comment above makes clear, the death of Chadwick Boseman overshadows the upcoming film. While it might make sense to recast the part, Marvel nixed the idea, with Kevin Feige previously:
“Chadwick Boseman was an immensely talented actor and an inspirational individual who affected all of our lives professionally and personally. His portrayal of T’Challa the Black Panther is iconic and transcends any iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past. And it’s for that reason that we will not recast the character. However, to honor the legacy that Chad helped us build through his portrayal of the king of Wakanda, we want to continue to explore the world and all the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film.”
“People will ask me, ‘Are you excited to go back?’ Excitement isn’t the word,” Lupito Nyong’o:
“I feel like I’m in a very pensive and meditative state when it comes to Black Panther 2. His passing is still extremely raw for me. And I can’t even begin to imagine what it will be like to step on set and not have him there…But at the same time we have a leader in Ryan, who feels very much like we do, who feels the loss in a very, very real way as well. And his idea, the way which he has reshaped the second movie is so respectful of the loss we’ve all experienced as a cast and as a world. So it feels spiritually and emotionally correct to do this. And hopefully, what I do look forward to, is getting back together and honoring what he started with us and holding his light through it. Because he left us a lot of light that we’re still going to be bathing in. I know that for sure.”
In a separate interview, Coogler said:
“You’ve got to keep going when you lose loved ones. I know Chad wouldn’t have wanted us to stop. He was somebody who was so about the collective. Black Panther, that was his movie. He was hired to play that role before anybody else was even thought of, before I was hired, before any of the actresses were hired. On that set, he was all about everybody else. Even though he was going through what he was going through, he was checking in on them, making sure they were good. If we cut his coverage, he would stick around and read lines off-camera [to help other actors with their performances]. So it would be harder for me to stop. Truthfully. I’d feel him yelling at me, like, ‘What are you doing?’ So you keep going.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens July 8, 2022.
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