In the wake of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman‘s surprising and tragic death, we assumed that Marvel Studios and director Ryan Coogler would put the planned Black Panther 2 on the back burner while mourning and figuring out the best way to move on with the sequel to the billion-dollar hit.
But apparently they have already figured things out ̵
The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog reports it Black Panther 2 will go before cameras in Atlanta in July 2021, and recording is expected to last for “up to six months.” It’s a very long time, even for a super big superhero blockbuster like this. (For comparison, sake the original Black Panther filmed in less than four months.)
Meanwhile, Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta, who has appeared in Cary Fukunaga’s Nameless, Sam Mendes’ Bond film Specter, and who plays Rafael Caro Quintero in the Netflix series Narcos: Mexico, has been cast in a key role. THR says he wants to play one of the film’s antagonists, but there’s no word yet on who exactly it might be. IN Avengers: Endgame, there was a reference to earthquakes that occurred below sea level, which made many wonder if it was the basis of Namor the Sub-Mariner to possibly appear in Black Panther 2. To be clear, we have no idea if it will actually play out, but since we have nothing else to continue, the best thing we can do at the moment is wildly speculate that Huerta could play an underwater resident.
Unfortunately, this new report does not provide the answer to the question everyone has Black Panther 2: how the hell will Marvel get on with this franchise without its star? We know they will not use a CGI Boseman to create a full show (thank God), and there has been some rumor that Letitia Wright’s Shuri may play a bigger role in the story, but it still does not address how the characters respond to T’Challa’s absence, or how this absence will be treated in history. Will they kill the character from the screen? It feels a little harsh, but in hindsight I would much rather have seen Lucasfilm take that approach with Carrie Fisher’s general Leia in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker than trying to build a narrative around a few deviating lines and footage from deleted scenes. Perhaps the most likely solution is to redraw the character completely, a choice full of its own challenges.
We’ll let you know as soon as we learn more about Marvel’s approach to this sequel.
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