Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is an upcoming American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Black Panther. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is intended to be the sequel to Black Panther (2018) and the 30th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is being directed by Ryan Coogler, who co-wrote the screenplay with Joe Robert Cole, and stars Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, and Dominique Thorne.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Black Panther Wakanda Forever logo.webp
Official logo
Directed byRyan Coogler
Written by
Based on
Produced byKevin Feige
Starring
CinematographyAutumn Durald
Music byLudwig Göransson
Production
company
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • November 11, 2022 (2022-11-11)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Ideas for a sequel began after the release of Black Panther in February 2018. Coogler negotiated to return as director in the following months, and Marvel Studios officially confirmed the sequel's development in mid-2019. Plans for the film changed in August 2020 when Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman died from colon cancer, with Marvel choosing not to recast his role of T'Challa. Other main cast members from the first film were confirmed to return by that November, and the title was announced in May 2021. Production began in late June 2021, taking place in Atlanta, Georgia, and around Massachusetts, and is expected to last until late November.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled to be released in the United States on November 11, 2022, as part of Phase Four of the MCU.

CastEdit

Additionally, Isaach de Bankolé and Dorothy Steel reprise their roles as the Wakandan River Tribe and Merchant Tribe elders.[7][8][9] Michaela Coel has been cast in an undisclosed role.[10]

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

With the release of Black Panther in February 2018, producer Kevin Feige said there were "many, many stories" to tell about the character, and he wanted director and co-writer Ryan Coogler to return for any sequel;[11] Marvel Studios wanted to keep the creative team as intact as possible,[12] while Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan F. Horn, despite feeling it was too early to discuss a sequel, was also positive about the desire to have Coogler return as director.[13] Coogler wanted to see how Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa / Black Panther would grow as a king in future films, since his reign only recently began in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in contrast to the comics in which he had been king since childhood.[14] In March 2018, Feige said there was nothing specific to reveal about a sequel, but Marvel had ideas and a "pretty solid direction" on where they wanted to take a second film.[15] That month, Boseman's agent Michael Greene was in negotiations for the actor to return as T'Challa in two planned Black Panther sequels for a reported pay of $10 million and $20 million, respectively.[16] By October, Coogler had closed a deal to write and direct a sequel to Black Panther. Despite both Marvel and Coogler having always intended to work together again after the successful release of the first film, Coogler avoided rushing into completing a deal for a sequel. Negotiations with Coogler were completed "under the radar" in the months following the first film's release. He was expected to begin writing the sequel in 2019, ahead of a planned filming start in late 2019 or early 2020.[12]

In November 2018, Letitia Wright was confirmed to be reprising her role of T'Challa's sister Shuri for the sequel.[4] When Angela Bassett, who played Ramonda in Black Panther, was asked if the main cast would return for the sequel, her husband Courtney B. Vance said they would. He said this included Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger, who was killed in the first film, and Bassett agreed.[17] Feige dismissed Vance's statement in June 2019 as "pure rumor", saying there were no set plans for the film as Coogler had just begun outlining it and had not yet shared his plans with Feige or co-producer Nate Moore.[18] The next month, John Kani expressed interest in reprising his role as T'Challa's father T'Chaka in the film,[19] and Danai Gurira stated that Coogler had confirmed she would be reprising her role of Okoye in the sequel.[2] Feige confirmed the sequel's development at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con,[20] while Martin Freeman confirmed in August that he would reprise his role as Everett K. Ross in the sequel.[3] A release date of May 6, 2022, was announced at D23 along with the placeholder title Black Panther II.[21] Feige said Coogler had completed a script treatment for the film that included a villain and new title.[22] At the end of 2019, Ruth E. Carter confirmed that she would be returning from the first film as costume designer for the sequel, and said that she was set to begin work on it in "the fall".[23] Feige, Boseman, and Coogler discussed adapting elements of Boseman's more "Gung ho" T'Challa performance in the second episode of What If...? for the film.[24]

Chadwick Boseman was an immensely talented actor and an inspirational individual who affected all of our lives professionally and personally. His portrayal of T'Challa the Black Panther is iconic and transcends any iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel's past. And it's for that reason that we will not recast the character.

—Producer Kevin Feige in December 2020 on the decision to not recast T'Challa following Boseman's death[25]

On August 28, 2020, Boseman died from colon cancer. Coogler stated that he had been unaware of Boseman's illness, and had spent the last year "preparing, imagining and writing words for him to say [in the film] that we weren't destined to see".[26] Feige and other executives at Marvel Studios were also unaware of Boseman's illness. Boseman, who had become thinner from his illness in the weeks prior to his death, had been prepared to begin gaining the weight back in September 2020 ahead of filming the sequel in March 2021. According to The Hollywood Reporter, industry observers felt Disney could recast the role, but that might generate a "fan outcry" and prompt comparisons between actors. Another suggestion was for Disney to shift their plans and have Shuri take on the mantle of the Black Panther, which occurred in the comic books.[27] By the time of Boseman's death, Coogler was in the middle of writing the script and had already turned in a draft.[28][29] In mid-November, executive producer Victoria Alonso said a digital double of Boseman would not be created for the film, and added that Marvel was taking their time to work out what they were going to do next and how.[30] Later in the month, Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, and Bassett were confirmed to be reprising their roles for the sequel as Nakia, M'Baku, and Ramonda, respectively, while Tenoch Huerta was in talks for an antagonist role.[1] At that time, filming was expected to begin in June or July 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.[1][31]

In December 2020, Feige confirmed that the role of T'Challa would not be recast, and said the sequel would explore the world and characters of the first film as a way to honor the legacy that Boseman helped build. The film's release date was moved back to July 8, 2022.[25] By the end of the month, Boseman's makeup designer Siân Richards was set to return for the sequel, while his personal costumer Craig Anthony said he would not commit to the film due to Boseman's death. Hair designer Deidra Dixon was unsure if she would return following Boseman's death as well as the death of her sister.[16] Feige reaffirmed in January 2021 that visual effects would not be used to include Boseman in the film, and said the primary focus of the sequel was always about further exploring the characters and "different subcultures" of Wakanda.[32] That same month, Jordan said he was willing to reprise his role as Killmonger as he felt returning to the MCU would "always be on the table in some capacity" due to his love for the character and for working with Coogler.[33]

Pre-productionEdit

In March 2021, Nyong'o said the sequel would be different from the first film and expressed excitement for Coogler's plans. She reiterated that everyone involved with the film was dedicated to continuing Boseman's legacy.[34] Also that month, Coogler said he was still writing the script, and he described working on the film without Boseman as the hardest thing he had ever gone through in his career. He added that Boseman had held together the first film, and now as the director he was the one trying to keep it going.[28][35] Freeman said he would soon meet with Coogler to discuss the project.[29] In April, Coogler wrote an op-ed in which he said the film would still shoot in Georgia despite the state passing its controversial Election Integrity Act of 2021 law. Though Coogler did not support the bill, he felt that boycotting film production in the state would have a negative effect on the people who otherwise would have been employed by the film. He instead planned to raise awareness of how to overturn the bill.[36] Nyong'o later said that Coogler had reshaped his ideas for the film to respect Boseman, which she felt was "spiritually and emotionally correct" to do.[37]

In May 2021, Marvel Studios revealed the film's title as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,[38] which Ethan Anderton of /Film believed was a fitting tribute to Boseman since "Wakanda Forever" is the battle cry of the Wakandans.[39] By the end of that month, Freeman said he had read the script and expressed excitement for it.[40] At the end of June, Edgar Luna, the business development manager of Worcester, Massachusetts's Economic Development Office, said the technical department of a major Disney production, which was confirmed to be Wakanda Forever's, was in the city the week of June 25 to scout and inspect filming locations, including at the Worcester Police Department headquarters.[41][42]

FilmingEdit

Production started at Trilith Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 29, 2021,[43] under the working title Summer Break.[44] Prior to Boseman's death, filming had been set to start in March 2021.[27] With the start of filming, Feige announced that "everyone" from the first film was expected to return.[43] Autumn Durald serves as the cinematographer, after doing so on Marvel Studios' Disney+ series Loki, replacing the first film's cinematographer Rachel Morrison.[45] A long time collaborator of Coogler's, Morrison planned to return for Wakanda Forever but was unable to due to a scheduling conflict with her film Flint Strong caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.[46]

In July, Bassett said that, due to Boseman's death, the screenplay was still undergoing changes and had gone through at least five incarnations. She also indicated that the first film's co-writer Joe Robert Cole was contributing to the sequel,[47] which Feige soon confirmed,[48] while Michaela Coel joined the cast in an undisclosed role.[10] The next month, Isaach de Bankolé was set to reprise his role as the Wakandan River Tribe elder,[7] and Dominique Thorne began filming scenes for Wakanda Forever as Riri Williams / Ironheart before starring as that character in the Disney+ series Ironheart.[6] Filming in August was expected to take place in Worcester and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).[42][49] The production was preparing to film a car chase in Worcester by August 18.[42][50] On August 23 and 24, a chase scene was filmed in the Ernest A. Johnson Tunnel.[51] On August 25, Wright was temporarily hospitalized with minor injuries sustained in an accident while filming a stunt in Boston.[52] Dorothy Steel, who portrayed the Wakandan Merchant Tribe elder in the first film, died on October 15; she was in the middle of reprising her role for the sequel when she died.[8][9] In October 2021, the film's release was delayed to November 11, 2022,[53] while filming was expected to last until late November 2021.[54]

MusicEdit

Black Panther composer Ludwig Göransson was set to return for the sequel by September 2021.[55]

ReleaseEdit

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled for release in the United States on November 11, 2022.[53] It was previously scheduled for May 6 and July 8, 2022.[21][38] It will be part of Phase Four of the MCU.[56]

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit