It's official: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has kicked off production. As confirmed by Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, the highly-anticipated sequel has begun filming in Atlanta, Georgia. The state has been home to many Marvel Cinematic Universe productions in the past. Now, director Ryan Coogler, as well as the rest of the cast and crew, are heading back to the city to return to the world of Wakanda. Only this time, they must do so without Chadwick Boseman, the man who brought T'Challa to life on the big screen.

According to a new report, Kevin Feige confirmed during a Black Widow fan event that production is indeed underway on Black Panther 2. Chadwick Boseman unexpectedly passed away last year following a battle with cancer. While Disney and Marvel Studios are not recasting the role, the franchise will continue with someone else taking up the mantle of the hero. Feige had this to say about it.

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"It's clearly very emotional without Chad. But everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans. We're going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud."

Plot details for Black Panther 2 are being kept firmly under wraps for the time being. However, most of the original cast is expected to return including Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong'o, Florence Kasumba and Angela Bassett. Martin Freeman is also set to return as Everett Ross. Wright, who played T'Challa's sister Shuri, seems to be the favorite to become the new Black Panther. Though nothing has been confirmed at this point. As for the villain, rumors have suggested that Tenoch Huerta (Narcos: Mexico) has been tapped to play Namor. However, that has yet to be confirmed at this point either.

Black Panther was released in 2018. The character originally debuted in 2016's Captain America: Civil War before getting a solo movie. But when that solo movie came, it made an enormous impact. The Marvel Comics adaptation became a downright pop culture phenomenon. It went on to earn more than $1.3 billion at the box office, to go along with seven Oscar nominations. Including one for Best Picture, making it the first superhero movie to accomplish that feat. It ultimately won three Oscars. As such, a sequel became a top priority for Disney. Unfortunately, the plans that had originally been in place were altered following Boseman's untimely passing.

Ryan Coogler, who directed the first movie, returns to helm the sequel. Coogler also penned the screenplay. This is just one of many MCU movies on the way over the next several years, not to mention the growing number of shows in the works for Disney+. Coogler is, additionally, producing a series set in Wakanda that will see Danai Gurira reprising her role as Okoye once again. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is currently set to hit theaters on July 8, 2022. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details are made available. This news comes to us via Variety. Amazing art above by the always magical, BossLogic.