When production begins this July on the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Black Panther 2, it’s going to be a hugely emotional moment for the cast and crew. Under normal circumstances, the first day of shooting on the sequel to one of the highest-grossing movies ever made that landed an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture and inspired millions would be a cause for celebration, but it’s going to be bittersweet when director Ryan Coogler finally calls action.
Chadwick Boseman’s shadow is set to loom large over every frame of the movie, and the second adventure to Wakanda faces a delicate balancing act in trying to pay tribute to the memory and legacy of the franchise’s leading man, while still powering the story forward to deliver a superhero blockbuster than can stand on its own two feet.
The mythology is only set to expand with the Dora Milaje making their presence felt in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, while Coogler is also developing a Wakandan spinoff series for Disney Plus. In a recent interview, though, Lupita Nyong’o admitted that she’s still struggling to come to terms with Boseman’s passing, but she’s confident that he would believe in the work everyone’s doing on Black Panther 2, so she’s also excited to be going back.
“It’s still so hard for me to come to terms with his passing. His leadership, he led the movie with such compassion and just presence. When Chadwick came on set, he was present and he brought his entire being to that movie. And he was just so humble as well. That leadership will be missed. I do know for certain he would want us to do this, and I feel what Ryan Coogler has planned very much honors him and his legacy. So I feel good about going back.”
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Anthony Mackie, meanwhile, has admitted that he’s not ready to watch Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom having known Boseman for over 20 years, and the actor’s fans are still mourning his shocking loss last summer. Black Panther II is a legacy sequel without a doubt, but based on what his peers have been saying, the MCU’s T’Challa wouldn’t want his co-stars and former collaborators to make everything about him.