It’s been a little over a year since Chadwick Boseman passed away, and his loss is still felt in the Hollywood realm, particularly among Marvel Cinematic Universe fans. With Marvel Studios opting not to recast T’Challa for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, nor recreate him digitally, it remains to be seen how the sequel will address the character’s fate. However, Angela Bassett recently shared that Boseman’s “presence” certainly wasn’t absent from Wakanda Forever’s production.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever began shooting at the end of June, and this will mark Angela Bassett’s third appearance as Ramonda, T’Challa and Shuri’s mother (remember that she cameoed in Avengers: Endgame). Bassett naturally couldn’t share specific plot details about Wakanda Forever while speaking with The Guardian, but she did say the following about she and the other cast and crew members honored Chadwick Boseman:
Everyone felt, the first week of shooting, the presence of Chadwick and missing him on that throne, but we all came together and just paid homage to him before we began, which was wonderful … everyone just speaking beautiful words about him and expressing how much we care and how he informed and inspired us.
It’s only natural that those working on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever would take the time to pay tribute to the man who was supposed to lead this movie, following his earlier outings as T’Challa in Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Sadly, we’ll never see how T’Challa’s second solo adventure would have unfolded, but the next best thing is to ensure Chadwick Boseman is not forgotten, and Angela Basset and everyone else on the sequel’s set certainly fulfilled keeping his memory and influence alive. Honestly, I expect the same thing will happen when the currently-hypothetical Black Panther 3 starts shooting.
Back in March, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director and co-writer Ryan Coogler called having to work on the upcoming movie without Chadwick Boseman as the “hardest thing” he’s had to do in his professional life. And evidently changing the story to account for T’Challa’s absence has been a particularly long process, with Angela Bassett saying in July that the script was still being altered despite filming having already kicked off. But Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has been pleased with how the Wakanda Forever team has shifted gears, saying that “they have something very special in mind.”
One of those things will surely be revealing who will take over the Black Panther mantle now that T’Challa isn’t around. Marvel is obviously keeping mum on that for now, although a lot of people are speculating it will be Letitia Wright’s Shuri who becomes the new Black Panther since she did so in the comics. Either way, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s lineup of familiar faces also Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia, Danai Gurira’s Okoye, Winston Duke’s M’Baku and Martine Freeman’s Everett Ross. The sequel will also introduce Dominique Thorne’s Riri Williams ahead of her leading the Disney+ series Ironheart, as well as feature Michaela Coel and Tenoch Huerta in undisclosed roles (though the latter has been rumored to be playing Namor the Sub-Mariner).
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever slashes its way into theaters on July 8, 2022. While we wait for more updates on its progress, learn what else the MCU is priming for the big screen with our upcoming Marvel movies guide.