Black Panther Actor Explains 'Odd' Experience Filming Wakanda Forever Without Chadwick Boseman

Martin Freeman flying in Black Panther
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is expansive and features a variety of different franchises. But a few stand out as fan favorites, including Ryan Coogler’s Awards favorite Black Panther. One of the most highly anticipated upcoming Marvel movies is definitely the sequel, titled Wakanda Forever. And one Black Panther actor explained the “odd” experience filming without Chadwick Boseman.

Fargo actor Martin Freeman made his MCU debut as Everett Ross in Captain America: Civil War, before having a major role in the first Black Panther movie. He’s set to appear in Wakanda Forever, as well as the Disney+ series Secret Invasion. Freeman recently spoke to Collider about his role in Ryan Coogler’s Marvel sequel, and described what the late Chadwick Boseman’s absence felt like on set, saying:

It was strange, that side of it. On the one hand, you're making the film that you're there to make, and there are scores and scores of people on set, joined in this endeavor to make the film. But there's also no question that, at the heart of it, there's quite a gap now, and you felt it. With full respect to Ryan Coogler and everybody else, who's sweating and bleeding to get this thing done properly, it was fun. It was enjoyable. I was in and out of it quite quickly, I think. But I like playing Everett Ross. He's a very fun character to play. He's nicely simpatico for the story. He's a good guy. But it was odd.

Well, there you have it. It looks like while Martin Freeman enjoyed being back in the world of Wakanda in Black Panther 2, it definitely felt different on set thanks to the loss of Chadwick Boseman. Although it’s comforting to see how much Freeman loves playing Everett Ross in the MCU.

Chadwick Boseman passed away in the summer of 2020, to the shock of colleagues and his generations of fans. While some were worried about how the Black Panther franchise would continue without its title character, filmmaker Ryan Coogler adjusted the story in a way to honor both T’Challa and Boseman himself. While he’s described this as the most difficult task of his professional life, the cast seems thrilled with what the Creed director brought to the set. 

Later in that same interview, Martin Freeman spoke more to the strong emotions that came up on the set of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever related to Chadwick Boseman. The late actor was known for how he led the set with such positivity, which is no doubt part of why there was such a void when filming the sequel. As Freeman put it,

Of course, it was odd with Chadwick not being there. There's no way around that. I think everyone would find it pretty strange and sad, but at the same time, life things don't just end. It's not like, 'Well, that's that's happened, so we just all have to go off and never do it again.' But it was odd.

We'll just have to wait and see what Ryan Coogler and company have in store for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The stakes are certainly high, and the movie will no doubt have additional emotional stakes based on what happened in real life. 

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is currently set to arrive in theaters on November 11th. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.