Since Black Panther premiered in February 2018, fans have been clamoring for a sequel. In 2022, they’ll finally get their wish.
It is clear that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is going to be very different than the first film. After Chadwick Boseman died of colon cancer at age 43 in August 2020, the filmmakers had to rethink how a sequel would work without his character, T’Challa.
In December 2020, Disney announced that a new actor would not be hired to fill the role, adding that the new movie would focus on other characters within the world of Wakanda, the fictional African country where T’Challa was king.
“Honoring Chadwick Boseman’s legacy & portrayal of T’Challa, @MarvelStudios will not recast the character, but will explore the world of Wakanda & the rich characters introduced in the first film,” the company tweeted.
Marvel executive Victoria Alonso has also said the studio has no plans to digitally recreate Boseman’s image for the film.
“There’s only one Chadwick and he’s not with us,” she told Argentinean outlet Clarin in November 2020. “Our king, unfortunately, has died in real life, not just in fiction, and we are taking time to see how we continue the story and what we do to honor this chapter of what has happened to us that was so unexpected, so painful, so terrible, really.”
Ryan Coogler, who signed on to write and direct the sequel after directing and cowriting the first, thinks Boseman would want everyone involved in the franchise to press on without him.
“I know Chad wouldn’t have wanted us to stop,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in March 2021. “He was somebody who was so about the collective. Black Panther, that was his movie. He was hired to play that role before anybody else was even thought of, before I was hired, before any of the actresses were hired.”
Lupita Nyong’o, who played Nakia in the first film and will reprise the role for the November 2022 film, agreed with the director. “It’s gonna be different, of course, without our king to go back into that world, but I know that all of us are dedicated to reimagining or carrying on his legacy in this new Black Panther,” the Oscar winner said during a March 2021 appearance on Good Morning America. “And Ryan Coogler has some really, really exciting ideas that I look forward to bringing to life with the rest of the family.”
After unveiling the first trailer in July 2022 at San Diego Comic-Con, it became clear that the movie characters will be grieving the death of T’Challa in the sequel. Okoye actress Danai Gurira said it was important to honor both the actor and character’s legacies.
“The most important thing, of course, was honoring our brother, our leader, and our king,” Gurira told Entertainment Weekly at the time. “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.”
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