Marvel Studios is looking to bring in Narcos: Mexico star Tenoch Huerta as the villain in the superhero sequel Black Panther 2 with production reportedly set to begin next summer. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel is preparing to begin shooting the movie in Atlanta starting in July 2021. It was also reported that Huerta is in talks to play one of the antagonists in the movie, though it's still unclear which character he'd be playing.
THR's sources also claim Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, and Angela Bassett are all expected to return to reprise their roles from the first Black Panther. Wright will reportedly be taking on a "more prominent role" in the sequel, per the report. While nothing has been confirmed by Marvel, fans have been speculating that Wright could assume the new lead role with Shuri stepping up as the new Black Panther.
"We're just still mourning Chad, so it's not something I even want to think about," Wright told Net-a-Porter last month, addressing the Shuri rumors. "The thought of doing it without him is kinda strange. We're just grieving at the moment, so it's trying to find the light in the midst of it."
With the sequel in its early stages, there's no word yet on any plot details, making it unclear how the franchise will continue following Chadwick Boseman's death in August. The actor's passing came as a complete shock to Boseman's fans and colleagues, as he had kept his condition private. Only after his death was it publicly revealed that he had been battling colon cancer since 2016. At the time, Boseman was preparing to return for Black Panther 2, which was already in the works based on the success of the original. Marvel has since confirmed that CGI will not be used to posthumously include Boseman in the sequel.
The original Black Panther was an instant blockbuster hit when it was released in theaters in 2018, ultimately grossing over $1.3 billion dollars at the box office. Directed by Ryan Coogler, the movie starred Boseman as T'Challa, the king of Wakanda who is challenged by the supervillain Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), a black-ops soldier hoping to begin a global revolution. Also a hit at awards season, the movie was up for Best Picture at the Academy Awards and took home three of its seven total nominations.
Several other anticipated Marvel movies are also set to begin production next year, further growing the ever-expanding MCU. Taika Waititi will helm the sequel Thor: Love and Thunder with filming scheduled to start in Australia in January. The next Ant-Man movie and James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 are also penciled in for 2021 shoots.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man 3 and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness have already begun filming. The next installment of the MCU to be released following an entire year with none at all will be Black Widow, which is slated to premiere on May 7, 2021. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.