Black Panther is still a movie franchise without its lead star, as the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman late this summer has left the Marvel Cinematic Universe stunned. But it seems that Marvel is getting closer to finding a path forward, and at the very least they will have to find one by next summer.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, filming for the Black Panther sequel will start next July, and the direction of the script in a Boseman-less MCU is starting to come into focus.
Multiple sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Marvel is now readying Black Panther 2 for a shoot that will start in Atlanta in July and last for upwards of six months.
Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta, who was one of the stars of Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico, is in talks to play one of the antagonists, sources tell THR. Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke and Angela Bassett are expected to return for the new feature, with some saying Wright’s character may take on a more prominent role.
The report indicates that Disney and Marvel execs are focusing heavily on TV projects as the MCU gets a bit less cinematic on Disney+. Wandavision has a release date, for example, and the other TV shows will take up a lot of time in the coming months. And while that’s always been the focus, there’s another obvious factor at play here: the long-term state of the movie industry is entirely uncertain nine months into a pandemic. With release dates shuffled around, filming interrupted and the pandemic making it significantly more expensive to attempt safely, it makes sense that there’s some things left to decide for the movie.
Still, focusing on Wright’s Shuri would also make sense for a Black Panther sequel, and the studio has already said no body double/CGI magic will plop a Boseman look-alike into the lead role. There will be a new Black Panther once the movie finally hits the silver screen, but whoever and whenever that actually happens is still far from official.