Angela Bassett has opened up about filming the Black Panther sequel without Chadwick Boseman. Boseman, who played T’Challa, aka Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, died last year of colon cancer. The 43-year-old actor had made the decision to keep his diagnosis private, so his sudden death shocked fans and colleagues alike.
Filming on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was delayed following the esteemed actor’s death, to give the cast and crew time to grieve Boseman and to give writer-director Ryan Coogler time to work out what the film would look like without its leading man. Black Panther 2 began shooting earlier this summer, with Baset returning to reprise the role of Ramonda, T’Challa’s mother.
“Everyone felt, the first week of shooting, the presence of Chadwick and missing him on that throne,” she told The Guardian. “But we all came together and just paid homage to him before we began, which was wonderful … everyone just speaking beautiful words about him and expressing how much we care and how he informed and inspired us.”
Marvel has vowed that it will not recast the role of T’Challa, nor will they use CGI to bring the character back to the big screen. During the Disney Investor’s Day presentation, Kevin Feige paid tribute to the star, acknowledging “the devastating loss of a dear friend and member of the Marvel Studios family.”
“Chadwick Boseman was an immensely talented actor and an inspirational individual who affected all of our lives professionally and personally,” Feige continued.”His portrayal of T’Challa, the Black Panther, is iconic and transcends iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past. It’s for that reason that we will not recast the character.”
Specific plot details for Black Panther 2 are a closely guarded secret. Still, Feige was clear that the action movie would honour Boseman’s legacy and continue to explore the world of Wakanda. A recently released plot synopsis teased that the adventure movie would explore the historical relationship between the underwater kingdom of Atlantis and Wakanda.
“Both Wakanda and Atlantis are hidden civilisations with advanced technology and increased militaristic abilities that decided to separate themselves from the rest of the world for their own safety, and in a way, out of fear. Wakanda feared that their technology would be abused,” the description reads. “Atlantis feared that surface dwellers would come and desecrate the mythical city just as they did so many years ago. And yet, their fears escalate even further when these two once-hidden nations clash with each other.
The synopsis finished by teasing the shockingly intertwined history of Wakanda and Atlantis and that Namor’s human father was lost searching for the rare metal in Antarctica.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled for release on July 8, 2022.