AceShowbiz - Marvel Studio is moving forward with its "Black Panther" sequel following the untimely passing of its supposed lead actor Chadwick Boseman. The follow-up to the 2018 movie is reportedly slated to start filming in Atlanta in July and last for upwards of six months.
According to multiple source who provided the info to The Hollywood Reporter, Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke and Angela Bassett are all expected to reprise their roles for the sequel. Wright's Shuri is also said to have a more prominent role in the upcoming feature.
Besides those returning actors, the project is about to add a new cast member, with Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta reportedly in talks to play one of the antagonists. The 39-year-old actor appeared in Cary Joji Fukunaga's 2009 film "Sin Nombre" and is currently starring on Netflix's crime drama series "Narcos: Mexico".
"Black Panther 2" was initially hoped to kick off production in March 2021 with Ryan Coogler returning as director. However, the project was sidelined as the filmmaker and Marvel tried to navigate grief over the unexpected death of Boseman in August.
"We're just still mourning Chad, so it's not something I even want to think about," Wright told Porter magazine in an interview for its October issue, revealing she's not even sure there is a "Black Panther" franchise without Boseman. "The thought of doing it without him is kinda strange," she added. "We're just grieving at the moment, so it's trying to find the light in the midst of it."
Marvel has not revealed how it would handle Boseman's absence in the sequel, but Marvel's Executive Vice President Victoria Alonso has ruled out using CGI to replace the late actor. "No. There's only one Chadwick and he's not with us," she told Argentinian newspaper Clarin when asked about the prospect of a digital recreation of the star.
"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 the story and what we do to honor this chapter of what has happened to us that was so unexpected, so painful, so terrible, really," she stated.
Alonso explained, "Because Chadwick was not only a wonder of a human being every day for the five years that we spent together. But it also seems to me that as a character what he did elevated us as a company and has left his moment in history."