It’s time to breathe a sigh of relief, Marvel fans. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was put on the back burner after the tragic death of star Chadwick Boseman. To add fuel to the fire, COVID-19, scheduling conflicts, and cast injuries threw even more roadblocks on the film’s path to theaters. Now that 2022 has kicked off, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is finally back on track.
After Black Panther star Letitia Wright was injured on the set of Wakanda Forever last August, fans were concerned that the Shuri actress would not be able to continue production. According to BBC News, however, a spokesperson for Wright confirmed that she was recently allowed to return to set after nearly five months of downtime.
Why such a long recovery period? When Letita Wright was first hurt, reports claimed that her injuries were ‘minor.’ The incident had occurred during an overnight filming session in Boston. Unfortunately, further inspection revealed that the Shuri actress had suffered "a critical shoulder fracture and a concussion with severe side effects,” leading to an extended healing process that halted filming in its tracks. It wouldn’t be the first time an injury has gotten in the way of a Marvel movie, so the production time was wise to give Wright plenty of time to heal.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler attempted to record as much material as possible in Letitia Wright’s absence, but that proved to be increasingly difficult. Once it was announced that T’Challa would not be recast out of respect for Chadwick Boseman, the prince’s sister Shuri was set to take center stage as the film’s protagonist. As a result, Letitia Wright was number one on the call sheet for most of the movie’s filming shifts. With the actress out of commission, all of the Shuri-less scenes were quickly completed, leaving the production team with nothing to do but wait.
Letitia Wright’s injury was the latest in a long line of setbacks for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The pandemic convinced Disney to push back many Marvel Phase Four releases, including Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder. Some films were only delayed a few months, while other sequels like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 were rescheduled for release in 2023. Luckily for Marvel fans, the movie studio is still planning to move forward with the entirety of its Phase Four agenda - it might just take a little longer to come to fruition.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is slated to hit theaters on November 11, 2022. Letitia Wright stars alongside returning cast members Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, and Martin Freeman. Marvel newcomer Dominique Thorne will introduce the character Riri Williams/Ironheart to the MCU.
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