Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is gearing up to be one of the most emotional releases in MCU history, particularly with the loss of leading actor Chadwick Boseman and his character, King T'Challa. Boseman's death hit the MCU and its fans hard when the news broke in August 2021, and it changed the story of Black Panther 2 from almost every facet before it began filming.
Marvel made the difficult decision to not recast the role of T'Challa, leaving headlining duties in the hands of actors like Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong'o, Angela Bassett, and more as Black Panther 2 pushes forward.
But while this team moves closer toward Black Panther 2's release, Boseman remains a key presence in their minds, as everybody involved has noted how important of an influence the leading actor was while the movie was being made. Wright went even further on that train of thought in a recent interview where she confirmed just how much she thought about her co-star while she made her fourth MCU movie.
Letitia Wright Pays Tribute to Chadwick Boseman
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Letitia Wright took an interview with The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon where she discussed the late Chadwick Boseman along with her own work on the sequel.
Wright and Fallon celebrated the movie's first trailer garnering 172 million views in its first 24 hours before moving to Wright's undisclosed injury that she suffered during shooting. While she didn't share any specific details on the injury, she confirmed that she "finished strong" before teasing that fans can see how everything worked out when Black Panther 2 releases:
Fallon: “Letitia Wright. Thanks so much for coming on. I’m very -- Everyone is very excited about Black Panther, the sequel. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The trailer -- By the way, the trailer got 172 million views in just the first 24 hours. It, like, broke the Internet.”
Wright: “Yeah, it did.”
Fallon: “It’s unbelievable. I’m so excited about this. And you unfortunately got injured while you were shooting this film.”
Fallon: “And you look okay now. Are you doing better?”
Wright: “Yeah. It was just an unfortunate situation that happened, but it took me out for, like, three months. So I went home. I got my mind back together. I got my healing back together. And I went back and I finished strong. So if you want to see how that turned out, November 11th.”
Fallon: Yeah! Exactly right. You finished it. I’m so happy. I’m glad you’re better.”
Wright: “Thank you.”
While looking back at how 2018's Black Panther "made a cultural impact and change," Wright teased the inclusion of new cast members like Dominique Thorne and Michaela Coel.
On top of that, she admitted that Chadwick Boseman's presence is felt in this movie, which she described as "a beautiful contribution to Chadwick's legacy." She made it clear that she focused every day on dedicating every scene to him and bringing a sense of "excellence to this film so that he could be proud."
And while Fallon tried to get an answer for who the new Black Panther is from her, Wright remained silent on the matter, joking about the "Marvel spies" before promoting Black Panther 2's release date again:
Fallon: “What can you tell us about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever?”
Wright: “Well, firstly I can tell you, you know, the first movie did so well. You know, we made a cultural impact and change. And this film is… We’re trying to follow that you know, of inspiring everybody that goes to see it. We have new cast members, such as Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel. So it’s jam-packed with lots of adventures. But it -- I feel, for me, it’s a beautiful contribution to Chadwick’s legacy. I feel like it’s a love letter to him. I know every day that I went on set, I focused my energy on -- on each scene to dedicate it to him. I wanted to dedicate excellence to this film so that he could be proud.”
Fallon: “Yeah. Oh, I love that. We loved him. Oh, my goodness. I cannot wait. I can’t wait. Do we know who will be the new Black Panther?”
Wright: “Okay. Yo, Quest, somebody, come get your man.”
Fallon: “No. You can’t —”
Wright: “I am sworn to secrecy.”
Fallon: “Of course.”
Wright: “By the Marvel spies that are around here somewhere.”
Fallon: “Yeah, they’re in the audience. I just thought maybe you could just give us… No. Okay.”
Wright: “November 11th.”
Fallon: “Alright. November 11th, we’re going to find out. I don’t want to -- I don’t want to get you in trouble.”
Wright: “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Boseman's Influence Brings Black Panther 2 Excellence
Losing an actor as big as Chadwick Boseman was certainly one of the toughest situations that Marvel has ever had to endure, particularly with how impactful his work as Black Panther was for so many MCU fans. It hit even harder for his castmates like Letitia Wright, who had worked so closely with him for the past few years before he tragically passed away.
Hearing the stories about Boseman's dedication to his craft is sure to inspire more than just his co-stars, as this was a man who worked through chemotherapy to bring the Black Panther to life. Now, with another huge story to add to the MCU's growing legacy, it seems only fitting that Wright and her co-stars are giving everything they have to make a film that Boseman would be proud of.
The first Black Panther 2 trailer paid tribute to Boseman's memory in multiple places, which is sure to be the case through the rest of the film as Wright and her co-stars reprise their roles once again. With footage description confirming that T'Challa will meet his end, the emotions are sure to run high, although it will also serve as a way for fans to remember the impact he had on the MCU.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will debut in theaters on November 11.