After nearly half a dozen new TV shows and movies coming in 2022, this year is set to end for Marvel Studios with Ryan Coogler's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on November 11. This movie has faced more challenges than just about any MCU project in Phase 4 yet, not least of which is handling the death of the MCU's man behind the Black Panther - Chadwick Boseman.
Following a long, drawn-out battle with colon cancer, Boseman passed away in August 2020, leaving Marvel Studios in a difficult place with the sequel to the highest-grossing solo movie in MCU history up to that point. In the end, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and director/writer Ryan Coogler decided to push forward and honor Boseman in the film, including making the call to not recast the role with a new actor.
As Black Panther 2 approaches its release date, anticipation is already building to see just how Marvel honors Boseman with the second movie of the franchise he helped build to such success. Recently, one of his co-stars shared her thoughts on just how much this new movie honors his memory.
Danai Gurira on Black Panther Sequel
Speaking with Variety from the 2022 Met Gala, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Danai Gurira shared how her next MCU movie honors the late Chadwick Boseman.
Gurira looked at the movie as a whole and reflected on how much passion everybody involved put into their work on and off-screen. She described Black Panther 2 as telling "a very heartwrenching story," but couldn't go any further than that:
"Listen, we poured everything we had into it, and we hope that you experience that and that it resonates for everybody the way it does for us. It tells a very heartwrenching story, and that is all I can say."
When asked about how the sequel pays tribute to Boseman, Gurira made it clear that Wakanda Forever is "all about him" and that she and her team did their best to "love and...honor" him throughout the movie:
"I think beautifully, and I’m very thankful for how our amazing director/writer handled that. It’s all about him, and for all of us, it’s all an outpouring to love and to honor him."
Black Panther 2 Honoring Boseman Throughout
Marvel Studios is dealing with a nearly unprecedented situation on Black Panther 2, having to rework the entire movie without the leading character from the original Black Panther. Thankfully, Gurira's quotes show just how dedicated she and the team are to honoring Boseman's memory, which will largely come in the story itself as T'Challa's life comes to an end within the MCU.
Praising director/writer Ryan Coogler for his work on the sequel, Gurira showed a great deal of reverence for Marvel Studios' decisions and the process behind making Black Panther 2 the best it can be, given the difficult circumstances. Even without its leading character, all indications point to the sequel truly honoring both Boseman and T'Challa after the actor put in so much incredible work in this iconic role over the past half-decade.
The biggest question now is what exactly will happen on-screen and how Boseman's impact will be felt as the Black Panther franchise continues after his untimely death. The film's first trailer likely won't come in the foreseeable future, but after the first footage that was shown at CinemaCon 2022, curiosity and anticipation is building quickly.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will release in theaters on November 11.