Back in August, we were rocked by the tragic passing of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman. It's now been confirmed that Marvel sequel Black Panther 2 will begin filming next year (pandemic conditions permitting), although the nature of the title role continues to be controversial. Should the studio recast the part or have someone else take up the mantle?
The Hollywood Reporter (THR) indicates that Black Panther 2 will begin shooting in July 2021 in Atlanta, prepping for a summer 2022 release. THR states Marvel "has indicated that it will not use CGI to include the late star in the film". However, there's been no official word as to how the movie will proceed without Boseman.
When asked by Argentinian outlet Clarin if a digital version of Chadwick Boseman would be used for the sequel, Marvel Studios' EVP Victoria Alonso replied: "No. There's only one Chadwick and he's not with us.
"Our king, unfortunately, has died in real life, not just in fiction, and we are taking a little time to see how we return to history and what we do to honour this chapter of what has happened to us that was so unexpected, so painful, so terrible, really."
There has been speculation that Letitia Wright's Shuri, the sister of T'Challa, could step up to the plate and become the new Black Panther incumbent. Wright has already spoken of her desire for an all-female Avengers film, so could this be the first step towards such a movie?
Black Panther 2 is set to be a pivotal movie in Marvel Phase Five with director Ryan Coogler returning to the fold. The Fruitvale Station and Creed helmer scored a critical and commercial hit with the first Black Panther movie, lacing popcorn thrills with just enough social commentary, all the while unfurling the spectacular hidden realm of Wakanda.
Of course, the sequel now faces an uphill struggle without Boseman's charisma anchoring it. Lupita Nyong'o's Nakia, Angela Bassett's Ramonda and Winston Duke's M'Baku are all expected to return, with specific plot details non-existent at this stage.
Whatever happens, Black Panther 2 is scheduled for release (at the time of writing) on 8th May 2022. How do you think Marvel should treat the character of Black Panther? Let us know @Cineworld.