It's official, principal photography on Black Panther 2 will begin at some point in July 2021, with work on the script for the Marvel sequel expected to start very soon. Following the tragic death of lead star Chadwick Boseman earlier this year, it was unknown when the studio would begin work on Black Panther 2. Reports state that production will take place in and around Atlanta and could last up to six months into 2022.
In wake the of Chadwick Boseman's passing, it is also being reported, and has been theorized by fans, that Letitia Wright's Shuri will have a much more prominent role in the follow-up, perhaps even taking on the mantle of Black Panther much like she does in the comics. Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, and Angela Bassett are all expected to return and reprise their roles alongside Wright, with director Ryan Coogler also due to return to helm the project.
While plot details remain scarce at this time, Narcos: Mexico star Tenoch Huerto is now in talks to play the movie's main antagonist. While the role currently remains a mystery, speculation has already begun to spread that the actor will be portraying Namor the Submariner, with the Atlantean king's involvement in the Black Panther sequel having been rumored for some time.
Chadwick Boseman tragically passed away on August 28 at the age of 43. The star of such movies as 42 and Da 5 Bloods had been secretly battling colon cancer for the last four years and died surrounded by his wife and family. Since his death, fans have wondered how the Black Panther franchise will continue, and whether Marvel will bring the actor back using a digital double. Thankfully, producer Victoria Alonso has stated that this will not be case, "No. There's only one Chadwick, and he's not with us," Alonso shared of Marvel's future Black Panther plans. "Our king, unfortunately, has died in real life, not just in fiction, and we are taking a little time to see how we return to history and what we do to honor this chapter of what has happened to us that was so unexpected, so painful, so terrible, really."
Alonso added, "Because Chadwick was not only a wonder ... but it also seems to me that as a character what he did elevated us as a company, and has left his moment in history. I know that sometimes two months go by or three months go by in production and one says, already, it was a long time. But it is not a long time, we have to think carefully about what we are going to do, and how, and think about how we are going to honor the franchise."
Returning director Ryan Coogler had been planning for the sequel to show T'Challa growing as a king, since his reign only began recently. Following Chadwick Boseman's death, Coogler stated that he had been unaware of the actor's struggle, and that he had "spent the last year preparing, imagining and writing words for him to say [in the sequel], that we weren't destined to see".
Sadly, we will never get to see Coogler and Boseman's original plans for Black Panther 2, but the director has no doubt now found a way to continue the story that pays respect to the beloved actor. Black Panther 2 is currently scheduled to be released on May 6, 2022. This comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.