The Marvel Cinematic Universe recently expanded with the release of Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The acclaimed blockbuster was one of the host hotly anticipated upcoming Marvel movies ahead of its release, and has been making a ton of money at the box office over the last few weeks. The sequel is a meditation on grief, with a touching real-world connection due to the passing of Chadwick Boseman. And Marvel’s Letitia Wright has opened up about the emotional exchange she had with a Black Panther co-star after learning of Boseman’s death.
Chadwick Boseman passed away in the summer of 2020, after a private battle with colon cancer. This shocked the fans and his colleagues alike, the latter of which have been open about the grieving process that accompanied the process of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Letitia Wright plays Shuri in the franchise, and recently opened up to The Guardian about exactly how she initially learned of Boseman’s death. In her words,
This feeling of confusion can no doubt be echoed by countless colleagues and fans of Chadwick Boseman, who were unaware of his health issues. While Letitia Wright had a close relationship to her on-screen brother, she was blindsided when folks started sending their condolences related to his death. It’s a sobering account of that very real feeling when tragedy strikes, and one can’t wrap their head around it.
Later in that same interview Letitia Wright revealed one Black Panther actor who was there for her in her pain and confusion. Namely Daniel Kaluuya, who was unfortunately absent throughout the movie’s sequel. As she shared:
What an emotional story. Letitia Wright’s honest recollection of the time following Chadwick Boseman’s death shows just how close the cast and crew of Black Panther truly got while bringing Wakanda to life. And these emotions seemingly translated into the powerhouse performances given by Wright and Angela Bassett in the acclaimed sequel.
Ahead of Black Panther 2’s release, Ryan Coogler and the cast had been open about how emotional it was to bring the Marvel sequel to life. Chadwick Boseman’s absence was described as a gaping hole, and it was touching to see how he was honored throughout Wakanda Forever’s runtime, including the movie’s ending, as well as the emotional mid-credits scene. Letitia Wright further explained how close the cast/crew of her Marvel franchise are, saying:
Grief is a tricky beast, and it’s super brave and generous for Letitia Wright to offer such an intimate peek into the way she’s been mourning Chadwick Boseman. And it sounds like in addition to finding a way to move on professionally and personally, the loss has changed the way she looks at her relationships to other co-stars like Okoye actress Dani Gurira.
The contents of Black Panther 2 inspired plenty of new questions, including who is ruling Wakanda. And while it remains to be seen how plot likes like Namor and Prince T’Challa play out, that corner of the MCU has gotten even more intriguing.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is in theaters now, and making a ton of money at the box office. Be sure to check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience– just don’t expect any more Marvel movies until Phase Five.
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 famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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