After Chadwick Boseman, who played T’Challa, the key character of Black Panther, died of colon cancer in August 2020, the franchise’s future was put in limbo, with speculation abounding over how the plot would continue without him.
However, it appears like Marvel Studios has discovered a solution, based on the latest footage from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which aired as part of Disney’s CinemaCon 2022 presentation.
T’Challa’s younger sister Shuri Letitia Wright (Avengers: Infinity War), Danai Gurira’s Okoye, and Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia also appear in the footage, however it is unclear whose threat Wakanda’s army is prepared to face.
T’Challa’s role will not be recast, according to a statement made in December 2020.
Producer Kevin Feige told Deadline, “So much of the comics and that first film is the realm of Wakanda.” “Wakanda is a place where characters and subcultures can be explored further.” The next story’s primary focus was always and originally on this.
“Neither CG Chadwick nor T’Challa will be recast.” “It was always about extending the mythos and inspiration of Wakanda,” says Ryan Coogler.
M’Baku and Ramonda will also return, with Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You) joining the cast as a newcomer.
For all you need to know about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, continue reading.
On November 11, 2022, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will hit theatres.
The film was originally set to debut in May 2022, but was pushed back to July 2022, and then again to August 2022.
The sequel’s filming began on June 29, 2021, in Atlanta, Georgia, and is slated to last into next year.
Actress Letitia Wright had to take a break from production after an on-set injury that required her to be hospitalised; she is anticipated to return in 2022.
“Letitia has been rehabilitating in London since September from injuries sustained on the set of Black Panther 2 and looks forward to returning to work early 2022,” a spokeswoman for Wright told The Hollywood Reporter in November.
“Letitia respectfully requests that you pray for her.”
Wakanda Forever Cast
Boseman’s absence from any sequel’s cast is evident, and it’s now been stated that he won’t be replaced, nor will he be represented by archive footage or CGI (such as Carrie Fisher in The Rise of Skywalker).
T’Challa’s love interest and War Dog spy Nakia will be played by Lupita Nyong’o, with Danai Guriria reprising her role as Okoye, the captain of the Dora Milaje.
Martin Freeman will reprise his role as CIA operative Everett K. Ross from the first film, while Winston Duke will reprise his role as the powerful Jabari tribe leader M’Baku.
The Hollywood Reporter announced in November 2020 that Tenoch Huerta, who starred in Narcos: Mexico, was in talks to play one of the sequel’s antagonists, however, the character’s identity has not been revealed.
According to The Sun, pop queen Beyoncé is also expected to appear in the Black Panther sequel, with an £80 million contract in the works between her and Disney.
According to sources, she will solely work on the film’s soundtrack, but given her previous performance in Disney’s adaptation of The Lion King, it’s likely she may also play a role onscreen.
Wakanda Forever storyline in Black Panther
Marvel Studios often keeps plot elements about upcoming Marvel films under wraps, but that hasn’t stopped widespread fan speculation about this highly anticipated blockbuster.
T’Challa will not appear in the film after the decision was made not to recast the part, with the plot focused on other characters instead.
This might indicate that Letitia Wright’s Princess Shuri, as in the comics, assumes her brother’s regal mantle, or that another figure steps in to defend Wakanda.
Wright recently told PORTER that she’s still processing Boseman’s death and that recreating her role would be “weird.”
“I don’t even want to think about it since we’re still mourning Chad,” she stated. It’s strange to think about doing [Black Panther] without him.
“Right now, we’re simply grieving, so we’re trying to find the brightness in the darkness.”
Producers are also struggling with this issue.
Producer Nate Moore told ComicBook’s Phase Zero podcast, “I think we’re going to perceive the movie through two lenses: pure entertainment and cathartic.”
“Obviously, with the loss of Chadwick, which was unexpected and unprecedented in a way narratively, to figure out how to deal with,” he continued.
Previous rumours stated that Atlantean hero Namor may appear in the sequel, but if that was ever the intention, it may have been discarded.