The next Marvel Cinematic Universe film finally takes fans back to Wakanda, but the journey will be tinged with sadness. Black Panther 2 will focus on the Wakandans dealing with the aftermath of King T’Challa’s death after the character’s portrayer, Chadwick Boseman, died in real life. And according to Letitia Wright, Black Panther 2 is a tribute to T’Challa and Boseman.
Chadwick Boseman died in 2020
The MCU introduced Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa in Captain America: Civil War. The actor went on to star in three more movies — Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame — and voiced a version of his character in What If…? Season 1. Boseman was supposed to appear in more MCU projects, but his life was cut short.
His family announced that Boseman had died on Aug. 28, 2020, from colon cancer. He was only 43 years old.
The news came as a shock to the world, including his co-workers at Marvel Studios. Only Boseman’s close family and friends knew he was sick, and he never told Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige or Black Panther director Ryan Coogler. Coogler was in the middle of writing the Black Panther 2 script, which featured Boseman’s T’Challa, when the actor died.
Marvel had to rework their plans for the Black Panther sequel. But they promised that they wouldn’t recast T’Challa. Instead, someone else would take on the mantle of the Black Panther.
Letitia Wright teases how ‘Black Panther 2’ honors the late actor
During an interview with Variety, the reporter asked Letitia Wright what she could tease about Black Panther 2.
“It is an incredible honor for Chadwick Boseman,” the actor shared. “It’s jam-packed with exciting stuff. November couldn’t come sooner! So I’m excited for you guys to see it.”
Wright added, “We honored him by committing ourselves to the story that he started, the legacy that he started with this franchise. And we just committed every day to working hard, no matter what circumstances we faced — and we faced a lot of circumstances, a lot of difficult situations — but we came together as a team, and we poured everything into this movie. So I’m excited for you to see it.”
At San Diego Comic-Con 2022, the Black Panther 2 cast, including Letitia Wright, reiterated that honoring Chadwick Boseman was their top priority.
“The most important thing, of course, was honoring our brother, our leader, and our king,” Danai Gurira told Entertainment Weekly. “That was definitely at the forefront of our minds and our spirits and our hearts. There was this amazing impact that the first Black Panther had, so the need, I think, was to really solidify that these characters and this world have an arc. It wasn’t a one-time momentous thing.”
Will Letitia Wright’s character become the new Black Panther?
Following Chadwick Boseman’s death, Marvel revealed that Letitia Wright’s Shuri would have a more significant role in Black Panther 2. And some fans believe that means she will take on the mantle of the Black Panther.
The trailer showed a glimpse of the new Black Panther, but it didn’t confirm their identity. It seems like Marvel is holding that reveal for when fans watch the movie in theaters. But many believe that Shuri, Nakia, or Okoye will continue T’Challa’s legacy in the MCU.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, starring Letitia Wright as Shuri, premieres in theaters on Nov. 11, 2022.