Last week’s Disney Investor Day was jam-packed with huge announcements concerning the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and a raft of major reveals brought the studio’s number of upcoming projects to a mind-boggling 25. There are now 12 movies and 13 Disney Plus exclusives in various stages of development, all of which are expected to arrive by the end of 2023, but perhaps the biggest surprise of all was the accelerated timeline of Black Panther 2.
The Wakandan sequel was originally scheduled to start shooting in March of next year, before the tragic passing of leading man Chadwick Boseman appeared to put everything on hold. However, it was recently confirmed that cameras are set to begin rolling in July, and a four month delay for the beginning of production was a whole lot less than even the most optimistic fans could have predicted.
Not only that, but Black Panther 2‘s release was only pushed back two months to July 2022, which is made more surprising when you remember that Captain Marvel 2 was shunted from July to November. After all, one year to get such a massive project in the can is a daunting task, especially when it needs to act as both a worthy sequel to the trailblazing original and a tribute to an actor who inspired millions.
Letitia Wright’s Shuri is widely expected to inherit the mantle, although the initial excitement has cooled somewhat after she posted a few controversial opinions on social media, and tipster Mikey Sutton is now claiming that T’Challa will be written out of Black Panther 2 in a way that reflects Boseman’s own death, with the King of Wakanda succumbing to a disease. Of course, this differs from what we’ve previously heard, with other insiders saying he’ll die in battle. In any case, whatever Marvel decides to do, it needs to be handled incredibly delicately, because it could turn out to be the single most emotionally powerful moment in the history of the MCU.