It came as a massive surprise to a lot of people when the start of production on Marvel Cinematic Universe sequel Black Panther 2 was only pushed back by four months to July of this year. Star Chadwick Boseman was just weeks away from beginning his training to get back into superhero shape before he lost his four-year battle against colon cancer, and nobody would have begrudged the studio in the slightest had the project been pulled from the calendar and delayed indefinitely.
After all, as the follow-up to a monster hit that made over $1.3 billion at the box office to become the highest-grossing non-Avengers entry in the franchise’s history, not to mention a cultural phenomenon that inspired a generation and the first superhero movie to ever be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, the pressure was already on for Black Panther 2 to deliver before tragedy struck.
Now, the film has to deal with all of those aforementioned expectations while also carrying on the personal and professional legacy that Boseman left behind as T’Challa. And as such, the second trip to Wakanda is going to be a hugely emotional and incredibly powerful experience for the actor’s legion of fans.
We still don’t know too much about it just yet, but in a new interview, Kevin Feige revealed that Black Panther 2 is set to dive even deeper into the history and mythology of the isolated nation, while also confirming that despite recent reports, they won’t be using a “CG Chadwick.”
“So much of the comics and that first movie is the world of Wakanda. Wakanda is a place to further explore with characters and different subcultures. This was always and initially the primary focus of the next story. We’re not going to have a CG Chadwick and we’re not recasting T’Challa. Ryan Coogler is working very hard right now on the script with all the respect and love and genius that he has, which gives us great solace, so it was always about furthering the mythology and the inspiration of Wakanda. There’s also the task of honoring and respecting the ongoing learnings and teachings from Chad as well.”
Of course, most fans are expecting Letitia Wright’s Shuri to step up and inherit the mantle in Black Panther 2, but their excitement may have been tempered a little given the recent controversies surrounding the actress. Still, that won’t put even the slightest dent in the movie’s chances of success.