Black Panther star Martin Freeman has confirmed he'll be reprising his role as Everett K. Ross in the upcoming sequel, but that's pretty much all he knows about the project at this time. Last year, Chadwick Boseman passed away after a four-year battle with cancer as he was preparing to return as T'Challa in Black Panther 2. The sequel is still moving forward without Boseman, though how they'll handle his absence remains unclear.
In a new interview with Collider, Martin Freeman was asked if he was set to return for Black Panther 2, and here's what the actor had to say.
"Yeah, I am doing the second Black Panther. I'm going to be speaking to Ryan Coogler soon about what shape that's going to look like. I have no idea about the script [so] I don't know what's going to happen."
Freeman then expanded on the state of the sequel, which was already in development prior to Boseman's passing. As Freeman explains, it still feels weird that Boseman won't be in Black Panther 2, though he's just as curious as the fans to see where Coogler takes the story.
"Just before Chadwick died, if my memory serves correctly, the script had gone in. They had the script and they were working on the script, and then Chadwick died, and [I] sort of immediately thought, "Oh, okay, I could see a world where there's no Black Panther then, because how can you do a Black Panther without Black Panther?" So, I still don't know what that's going to look like. And no, obviously, before Chad died, the idea of doing it without him would have been a stupid idea. It would have been crazy. It was very shocking, and still is very, very strange, that he is not here. So, I'm as curious as you are to see what that will look like and I find out quite soon. All I know is that I'm in it."
Previously, it has been reported that Freeman's Black Panther co-stars Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, and Angela Bassett would be returning to reprise their roles for the sequel. Tenoch Huerta has also been in talks to appear in an antagonist role. Michael B. Jordan, who played Killmonger in the first Black Panther, has said that he'd be open to reprising the role in any capacity if Marvel Studios were to give him the call.
As far as T'Challa, Marvel head Kevin Feige has gone on record to say that the role will not be recast with another actor, nor will Boseman be digitally inserted into the movie with special effects.
"We're not going to have a CG Chadwick and we're not recasting T'Challa," Feige told Deadline in January. "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."
Meanwhile, Coogler is also expanding the world of Wakanda for a Black Panther spinoff series for Disney+. Not much has been revealed about the plot of the series, and it's unclear if any characters from the movies will be appearing in the same roles.
Black Panther 2 is scheduled to be released in theaters on July 8, 2022. This news comes to us from Collider.