Marvel Studios is kicking off Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a bang, having just finished its first full season of Disney+ material in WandaVision. As nine more projects release through the course of 2021, multiple production teams will be hard at work preparing over a dozen movies and Disney+ series for release in 2022 and later.
Included in this bunch will be the Black Panther 2, the sequel to Marvel Studios' highest-grossing solo movie ever, 2018's Black Panther. While the plot details for this second Wakandan adventure are still largely being kept under wraps, the MCU fandom is already aware of how challenging this movie will be to shoot after the loss of leading man Chadwick Boseman in August 2020.
Even in light of this loss, the crew behind this highly anticipated sequel is doing everything they can to make the best MCU movie they can and expand on Boseman's legacy as T'Challa within the franchise. That said, the most recent interview with the movie's director reinforces how much Boseman's memory is weighing on those who are continuing on with the film.
RYAN COOGLER TACKLING BLACK PANTHER 2
During a recent talk with Jemele Hill on the Jemele Hill Is Unbothered podcast, via ComicBook, Black Panther 2 director Ryan Coogler looked ahead to shooting his next MCU movie without leading actor Chadwick Boseman after his death in August 2020. Although production is set to begin this summer, Coogler admits that it's "difficult to have perspective on something while you’re going through it" while calling Boseman's passing "one of the more profound things that (he's) ever gone through.":
"You know, I’m currently going through it. One thing that I’ve learned in my short or long time on this Earth, however, you want to look at it, it’s difficult to have perspective on something while you’re going through it. This is one of the more profound things that I’ve ever gone through in my life, having to be a part of keeping this project going without this particular person. Who was like the glue that held it together.”
Although this passing is a devastating challenge to deal with, Coogler is still "trying to find a work-life balance" with a clearly tremendous passion evident in his work. In the end, he has a hard time hiding that losing Chadwick Boseman is "hardest thing (he's) ever had to do in (his) professional life.":
”That said, you have a personal life, you have a professional life, you got a private life. When you work in something that you love, those things blend, they come together right? Your life kind of becomes your work for the better part of it. So, I’m trying to find a work-life balance, so I’m working on building two things that can stand on their own. I’m not there yet. But, this is without question, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my professional life.”
COOGLER PUSHING ON THE BEST HE CAN
When Chadwick Boseman unexpectedly passed away just over six months ago, the entertainment world went into a collective state of shock. However, during the mourning process, there was still the fact present that Marvel Studios was still planning to make Black Panther 2 in the foreseeable future.
Since the decision was made to not recast the role of T'Challa, Coogler and Boseman's colleagues have been adamant about doing their best to pay tribute to the work he did as the franchise's leading man. With appearances as the Black Panther in four MCU movies, including his Academy Award-winning solo film, Boseman's impact on the MCU's narrative was more than profound.
Not much is known about what will happen in the plot of Black Panther 2, but no matter what happens, Coogler knows how tough of a journey it will be. Thankfully, he has an incredible support system from his actors and the higher-ups at Marvel Studios as they work to put in their best work possible on the sequel.
Black Panther 2 will begin filming in July 2021 before its upcoming theatrical release on July 8, 2022.