As the sequel to the highest-grossing entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that wasn’t an Avengers team-up, the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards and a cultural milestone that dominated the conversation for months and looks to have a lasting impact on how Hollywood approaches their big budget blockbusters, Black Panther 2 was already facing huge expectations.
Everything ground to a halt, though, when it was announced that leading man Chadwick Boseman had passed away after a four-year battle with colon cancer, one that he was so determined to both fight and beat in private that nobody outside of his closest circle was even aware he was suffering from the illness. In fact, the 43 year-old was set to start hitting the gym this month in preparation for reprising the role of T’Challa, with shooting expected to kick off in March of next year.
Black Panther 2 was originally, and still is, scheduled to arrive in theaters in May 2022, but we’ve now heard from our sources – the same ones that told us Ben Affleck is reprising his role as Batman for The Flash and the Fast & Furious franchise is headed to space, both of which were correct – that the return to Wakanda is very likely to be pushed back by at least a year to 2023. Though as of yet, no final decision has been made.
Of course, this is hardly surprising and completely understandable, because the cast and crew have just lost a friend and collaborator that was the driving force behind the movie’s success. Black Panther 2 will inevitably need to be reworked from the ground up now while it’ll also need to find a way to pay tribute to Boseman’s legacy and deliver a worthy successor to the first installment. As such, getting in front of cameras in as soon as six months seems unfeasible for a variety of reasons.