Production plans are moving along for the Black Panther sequel, and reports state that the cast and crew are heading to the Atlanta set by July 2021 with director Ryan Coogler. Letitia Wright, who plays Shuri, will reportedly have a bigger role.
Alongside the pandemic crisis, the unexpected death of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman sidelined the sequel. The sequel was originally set to start filming in March.
Sources from The Hollywood Reporter, however, has confirmed that preparations are underway for the cast and crew to work next summer. Ideally, production of the sequel will last for six months.
Aside from Wright, Angela Basset, Lupita Nyong’o, and Winston Duke will reprise their roles. The Hollywood Reporter further cites that Wright’s character will be more prominent in this next film.
Plenty of material for Shuri
Fans have speculated that Shuri, the younger sister of T’Challa (Boseman), will take over as Black Panther in light of Boseman’s passing. According to The Direct, there is plenty of source material for the character if the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) does plan to expand Shuri’s trajectory.
For instance, Marvel has released a book, The Wakanda Files: A Technological Exploration of the Avengers, which highlights Shuri’s expertise in science and technology. She apparently has studied a super-soldier program to help the Avengers and boost the defense of Wakanda.
The book appears to be an excellent tie-up to the MCU and could set the groundwork for future storylines.
In an interview with People, Basset, who plays Queen Ramonda, signed on the idea that Wright could be the next Black Panther. However, the actress also said that Boseman can never be replaced as T’Challa because “he’s just too special.”
A new antagonist
Black Panther 2 will also reportedly feature a new antagonist, and Marvel wants Tenoch Huerta to play the part. Huerta was featured in the first season of Narcos: Mexico as Rafael Caro Quintero. The Latino actor also had a small role in Spectre, the James Bond movie from 2015.
Details to Huerta’s villain role haven’t been revealed, but he will not be the lone villain in the sequel. Other details to the Black Panther 2 are still under wraps. It’s also not clear how Coogler, who also wrote the screenplay, will write out T’Challa or give tribute to Boseman.
Black Panther, which hit theaters in 2018, is the very first superhero movie to score an Oscar nomination, catapulting Boseman’s stardom to well-deserved heights. The actor passed away in August 2020 after a secret four-year battle with cancer.
Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons