Written by Kristina Calhoun
The official title and release date for the “Black Panther” sequel was officially revealed on Monday in a mega trailer celebrating Marvel movies. The sequel to the original movie, which starred the late Chadwick Boseman, is set to be released on July 8, 2022, and will go by the official name, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” The film will be directed by Ryan Coogler, with production set to begin in July.
Exactly how the franchise will carry on without its lead actor is still uncertain. The producers shot down any speculation over who might follow in the role Boseman embodied in 2018. Out of respect for the late actor, the studio promised not to recast Boseman’s character or digitally recreate him. Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, has stated that Boseman’s portrayal of the character is iconic and transcends any other iteration of the character in past Marvel works. To honor the legacy he left behind, the studio will continue to explore the world of Wakanda, but they will not try to replace him.
Fans, co-workers, and many more were devastated last August when 43-year-old Boseman passed away after privately battling colon cancer. Boseman was considered a dear friend and member of the Marvel Studios family. “Chadwick Boseman was an immensely talented actor and an inspirational individual who affected all of our lives,” said Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios (Republic World). In the wake of his passing, Boseman’s “Black Panther” and other Marvel co-stars shared heartbroken tributes to the late actor.
Now, the “Black Panther” cast and crew are having to face the sobering reality of returning to set without Boseman. Lupita Nyong’o, who plays Nakia in the superhero franchise, recently shared her thoughts. “I feel like I’m in a very pensive and meditative state when it comes to ‘Black Panther 2.’ His passing is still extremely raw for me,” she said. “And I can’t even begin to imagine what it will be like to step on set and not have him there” (IndieWire).
However, according to Nyong’o, director Coogler is approaching the “Black Panther” sequel with great sensitivity and care. “[H]is idea, the way which he has reshaped the second movie is so respectful of the loss we’ve all experienced as a cast and as a world,” Nyong’o said. “So it feels spiritually and emotionally correct to do this” (IndieWire).
Coogler, too, is feeling the heartbreak of Boseman’s loss. However, the director said that he believed Boseman would want them to make “Black Panther 2.” “You’ve got to keep going when you lose loved ones,” he said. “I know Chad wouldn’t have wanted us to stop” (People).