‘Black Panther’ Star Talks Sequel Plans in New Interview

Marvel Studios Okoye (Danai Gurira), T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) and Ayo (Florence Kasumba). in "Black Panther."

Chadwick Boseman’s tragic passing in the summer of 2020 was felt across the world. The “Black Panther” star had become a symbol for many and represented the character with power and dignity. His absence will continue to be felt in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially in the upcoming “Black Panther 2.”

Currently slated for release on July 8, 2022, “Black Panther 2” is one of the most anticipated forthcoming Marvel productions. The original explored the fictional world of Wakanda and introduced extremely competent and memorable characters such as Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Shuri (Letitia Wright). While those characters are all expected to return in the sequel and future Marvel projects, Boseman’s run in the MCU is unfortunately over.

‘Black Panther 2’ Will Honor Boseman’s Legacy

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While Boseman may be gone, he still lives in the hearts of those touched by his on-screen work. “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler, who is also set to direct the sequel, understands better than most just how important Boseman was as a person and an actor. In an interview with Ellen Degeneres, Nyong’o said that Coogler’s plans for “Black Panther 2” will honor Boseman and his iconic portrayal of King T’Challa.

“I feel that what Ryan Coogler has planned very much honors him and his legacy,” Nyong’o said. “So I feel good about going back.”

While Nyong’o is not yet officially listed as a part of “Black Panther 2,” it is widely expected that she will return alongside the rest of the primary cast for the sequel. When last we saw the inhabitants of Wakanda, they were appearing alongside Captain America in “Avengers: Endgame” for one final, epic battle against Thanos and his army. In “Avengers: Infinity War” the climactic battle takes place in Wakanda with Boseman and his fellow “Black Panther” stars playing a central role.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter while discussing the Oscar-nominated film “Judas and the Black Messiah,” Coogler was asked about continuing on with “Black Panther 2” even without Boseman. Coogler revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that he was in the process of writing the sequel when Boseman died, but he knows that his friend and collaborator would want everyone to continue on.

“You’ve got to keep going when you lose loved ones. I know Chad wouldn’t have wanted us to stop,” Coogler said. “He was somebody who was so about the collective. Black Panther, that was his movie. He was hired to play that role before anybody else was even thought of, before I was hired, before any of the actresses were hired. On that set, he was all about everybody else. Even though he was going through what he was going through, he was checking in on them, making sure they were good. If we cut his coverage, he would stick around and read lines off-camera [to help other actors with their performances]. So it would be harder for me to stop. Truthfully. I’d feel him yelling at me, like, ‘What are you doing?’ So you keep going.”

Boseman Was a True Leader on Set

Marvel StudiosDirector Ryan Coogler gathers around a monitor with Cinematographer Rachel Morrison, actors Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther), Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia) and Okoye (Danai Gurira).

While talking with Ellen about the forthcoming “Black Panther” sequel, Nyong’o also discussed her friendship with Boseman and the presence he brought to the set each and every day. Boseman became revered by the black community for his work playing iconic historical figures like Jackie Robinson and Thurgood Marshall as well as portraying the first mainstream black superhero in comics history, but he also left an equally special impact as a person.

“It’s still so hard for me to come to terms with his passing,” Nyong’o told The Ellen Show. “I mean, his leadership. He led the movie with such compassion and just presence. When Chadwick came on set, he was present, and he brought his entire being to that movie. And he was just so humble as well, you know. And that leadership will be missed, and he was my friend, but I do know for certain that he would want us to do this.”

Per The Hollywood Reporter, production on “Black Panther 2” is set to begin in July. “Black Panther” remains the highest-grossing non-Avengers Marvel movie, and it is the 12th-highest-grossing movie of all time, according to Box Office Mojo.

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