Marvel Studios is less than two months away from its final MCU Phase 4 film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – sequel to what was the MCU’s highest-grossing solo film before Spider-Man: No Coming Home. But at the same time black panther 2 will push Wakanda’s Marvel story to new heights, this time it will be without lead actor Chadwick Boseman, who tragically passed away after a long battle with cancer in 2020.
The fandom has been widely divided on whether Boseman’s role as T’Challa should have been recast. In the end, Marvel Studios made the difficult choice not to go that route, with black panther 2 to pay homage to both the memory of the actor and the character.
The decision to move forward with the movie as a whole was also difficult both logistically and emotionally, as Boseman was the driving force behind one of the greatest MCU movies of all time. However, it was actually Boseman himself who pushed for the franchise to continue before his passing, according to one of his co-stars.
Chadwick Boseman’s support for Black Panther 2
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Star Letitia Wright spoke with The Playlist about supporting the late Chadwick Boseman for Marvel to continue the franchise through his battle with cancer.
When asked if there was a time when she felt comfortable moving forward, she recalled how difficult it was for her to lose Boseman, whom she considered like a brother. But once director Ryan Coogler “heard Chadwick give her that gentle push forward to keep going” without him, he began to feel that it was bigger than everyone involved, convinced that everyone was making the right decision:
The Playlist: “Black Panther was a huge, huge hit, and then with Chad passing, it’s something where people were kind of wondering how Marvel was going to continue. As someone involved with the project, was there a time when you were comfortable saying to yourself, ‘Okay, they know what they’re doing, Ryan knows what he’s doing , and it’s going to be great.” ?”
Wright: “I always knew everyone knew what they were doing. You know, I felt like… it was hard for me to imagine being on set without my brother. It was something I had been struggling with for months. And the confidence that Ryan felt [after] he heard Chadwick give him that gentle push forward to keep going, and the way Ryan would voice it was bigger than all of us, and Chad would have wanted us to keep going really encouraged me. So yeah, I’m so confident. I love Ryan, he’s a great advocate for my dreams and my goals, my talent. He believes in me so much and having someone like that by my side means a lot to me. So I can’t wait for you to see the movie and how we honored Chad in a beautiful way.
Wright was also asked if she could use a few words to describe what fans will see with this new movie, to which she replied with “sincere” and “adventurous” before cutting:
The Playlist: “And just a word, what do you think people will say when they see Wakanda Forever?”
Wright: “Hmm, one word, you know?”
The Playlist: “Okay, you can be liberal with that. We could do two or three.
Wright: “Thank you. Definitely like, not only adventurous, but also heartfelt. A sincere and adventurous film. That’s what you get from me today.
Wright also looked at the style of the movies she’s done in recent years, looking back to her past as a “an independent arthouse child.”
She thought back to how she decided to approach the role of Shuri in the first Black Pantherwhat made him happy “the opportunity to play a scientist” and just happened to be in the MCU:
I’ve always been an independent arthouse kid. If you look back before Commuter, you’ll see I did My Brother the Devil with Sally El Hosseini, with James Floyd, it went to Sundance in 2013. I did Top Boy with Yann Demange…I’m influenced by so many art house films and it’s like the core of who I am. I love movies and I think the opportunity to play Shuri in Black Panther came up, not because I’m a big fan of the franchises and obsessed with them, but because it was the opportunity to play a scientist and it just so happened to be part of a huge Marvel Cinematic movie, which I love. So it’s a conscious choice, yes, because that’s where my heart is, but also, I’m where the good stories are. And good stories sometimes take me on the set of Black Panther and sometimes they take me on the set of Silent Twins.
Ryan Coogler had the Boseman stamp of approval
black panther 2 faces an almost unprecedented situation, in which its story continues without an overhaul of its main actor after a tragic death. This is particularly significant due to the massive success of its predecessor, at one point ranking among the ten highest-grossing films ever made.
Chadwick Boseman had also fought his battle with cancer throughout his tenure in the MCU, which began over six years ago with his debut in 2016. Captain America: Civil War. Given how difficult it was for him, for Coogler to get Boseman’s support to do black panther 2 must have meant a lot to the director as he struggled to decide how to proceed in this scenario.
Thankfully, Boseman’s presence will be felt throughout black panther 2, with the film’s characters and the cast themselves doing everything in their power to make sure King Wakandan stays front and center. How the story around him progresses is still a mystery, especially when it comes to who will take over as Black Panther, but having Boseman’s stamp of approval should help ease fans’ minds with growing anxiety about this release.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on November 11.
. Chadwick Boseman pushed for Black Panther advance without him