Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has entered an official production hiatus until at least January 2022. Letitia Wright, who plays Shuri, sustained an onset injury in August which is more serious than originally thought. She is still recovering and is set to return to the production in the new year.
Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito and Nate Moore of Marvel Studios sent a note to the cast and crew this morning, as reported in Deadline. It says that Wright suffered “a critical shoulder fracture, and a concussion with severe side effects. It has been a painful process and Letitia has been home recovering with her doctors and the support of family.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has suffered many setbacks. The star of 2018’s Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman, tragically passed away in 2020. The production of the sequel (in which T’Challa’s sister Shuri is expected to play the main role) has already been much delayed due to the pandemic and other scheduling shifts. It’s most recent release date is November 11, 2022, which the studio will be desperate to stick to.
As recently revealed in an interview with Tom Holland (who plays Spider-Man), every time a Marvel movie’s release date shifts, it has a huge knock-on effect to not just the other movies, but there are now also TV shows to consider.
The full note from Feige, Moore and D’Esposito can be read here;
As we wind down for the holidays, we wanted to send a note of thanks and appreciation for the hard work of our entire cast and crew, as well as an update on timing. First and foremost, this project is exceptional and something we know audiences are eager to see. We could not be any more excited to complete this film and share it with the world next year. Thank you for everything you’ve done to get us to this place.
Unfortunately, we’ve not gotten here without a few setbacks. Running a production of this scale in the midst of a pandemic is not an easy task, and you have remained diligent and professional throughout. In addition, as you are all aware, Letitia had a frightening accident on our set during a stunt back in August. It was a reminder of the importance of safety at all times in our work, which we know you understand and are committed to. What we had initially thought were minor injuries turned out to be much more serious with Letitia suffering a critical shoulder fracture, and a concussion with severe side effects. It has been a painful process and Letitia has been home recovering with her doctors and the support of family.
We’ve adjusted our production schedule so she has the time she needs to heal, but there’s only so much we can do without Shuri! We also want to thank Letitia for everything she’s doing to get back to the set – we know how much she loves this role, how tough it’s been for her to be away, and how hard she’s working to recover as quickly as she safely can. We are eagerly awaiting her return and we know we will all come back stronger together.
Please be on the lookout for more information on your specific return-to-work date. As of now, we’re on schedule to resume filming – with Letitia – in January 2022. We are all focused on finishing the movie with excellence, honoring the memory of our dear brother Chadwick in the process. We are thrilled to share Black Panther: Wakanda Forever with the world, confident that the challenges that we have overcome together as a team will make the film even more impactful. Please take care of yourselves and enjoy the holidays.