Earlier this month, it was reported that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — the already delayed sequel to one of the MCU’s most popular entries — was going to take a break from filming. Why? Because one of its stars suffered an on-set injury and required a long convalescence. But a new report by The Hollywood Reporter about vaccine mandates on industry sets suggests that the sequel’s production may (or may not!) run into yet another snag.
That person is Letitia Wright, the Guyanese-born British actress who played break-out fan favorite Shuri, badass techie sister to the late Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa. She was promoted to a more prominent role in the follow-up, which had to do some major restructuring after the death of the first film’s star. In August she injured herself mid-shoot, and went back to her native England to recover. Production proceeded to shoot everything they could that didn’t involve her. By early November they’d run out of things to film, and everyone went on hiatus until the new year, when Wright could return.
Problem is: Wright is, according to sources, not vaccinated. And that could create a new headache, as per THR:
Now, a return to the U.S. for a possible shoot in Atlanta, where Wakanda Forever is based, could be an issue. On Nov. 8, the CDC implemented rules that require all non-immigrant, non-citizen air travelers to the U.S. be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination status before boarding a plane. Wright is not a U.S. citizen. Disney declined to comment.
This has not been officially confirmed either way, though Wright made headlines late last year for spouting views skeptical of COVID-19 vaccines. In October, a THR report cited sources claiming Wright was spouting anti-vaxx views on set, which Wright later denied. There’s a possibility she is vaccinated. After all, she was filming in America up until her injury. In that case, there’s no need to worry about any future delays or dramatic rewrites.
In the meantime, Wright’s rep released a statement to THR about her current status. “Letitia has been recovering in London since September from injuries sustained on the set of Black Panther 2 and is looking forward to returning to work early 2022,” they wrote. “Letitia kindly asks that you keep her in your prayers.”