Freeman, who played Everett K. Ross in the first film and will reprise that role in the sequel, told Collider that at one stage he thought “maybe there just won’t be another one.”
Although the proverbial show went on, Freeman recounted the mixed emotions he felt while filming without Boseman:
“On the one hand, you’re making the film that you’re there to make, and there are scores and scores of people on set, joined in this endeavor to make the film. But there’s also no question that, at the heart of it, there’s quite a gap now, and you felt it.
“With full respect to Ryan Coogler and everybody else, who’s sweating and bleeding to get this thing done properly, it was fun. It was enjoyable . . . Of course, it was odd with Chadwick not being there. There’s no way around that. I think everyone would find it pretty strange and sad, but at the same time, life things don’t just end. It’s not like, ‘Well, that’s that’s happened, so we just all have to go off and never do it again.’ But it was odd.”
Boseman passed away on Aug. 28, 2020, from colon cancer, which he’d kept hidden from everyone except family, medical professionals, and a few close associates.
“Chadwick was thoughtful, watchful, and totally committed in his work,” Freeman said upon his co-star’s death.
“To still do what he did, when he must have been going through some terrible physical and emotional pain, is testament to the man. My heartfelt condolences to his family and those he loved. Rest in Peace brother.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled for release on Nov. 11, 2022.