Even nearly a year later, the world is still mourning the loss of Chadwick Boseman.
Marvel's live-action T'Challa passed away last August from a lengthy battle with colon cancer, a condition he kept very close to the vest. Out of respect for his family, Marvel Studios provided tribute posts and special showings of his debut solo film, Black Panther, to honor the late actor's legacy.
Once an appropriate amount of time had gone by, the studio behind the MCU provided their first official update on the 2018 film's sequel: T'Challa would not be re-cast.
Since that announcement at December's Disney Investor Day, the sequel has received the official title of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and recently began production in Atlanta. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has mentioned that the process is "emotional" without Boseman, but has emphasized that they're creating a sequel that "would make Chad proud."
Director Ryan Coogler has significantly reworked Wakanda Forever's script since August, and a returning star has shed light on just how many rewrites the story has gone through.
NEW SCRIPT COMING FOR WAKANDA FOREVER
The MCU's Queen Ramonda, actress Angela Bassett, has opened up about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and just how much work went into getting the movie right.
Speaking with ET, Bassett revealed she's fairly in the dark when it comes to the sequel's storyline.
"I don't know what it's going to look like at all. There have been about five incarnations of the script and I hear another one's coming."
Bassett noted "a lot of things had to be shifted" since August, but praised director Ryan Coogler and writer Joe Robert Cole's talents, noting she has full faith they will deliver a worthy follow-up.
"Of course, with our dear king going on to glory, a lot of things had to be shifted and changed, so thankfully, Ryan [Coogler] and Joe Robert Cole, they're just such masterful storytellers that they've found a way into this world and hopefully it will be satisfying, I think, for the fans and it will be honorable of our Chad. We love our king."
THE BLACK PANTHER LEGACY LIVES ON
Ryan Coogler might have the tallest order of Phase 4, but knowing that his cast is behind him is a great sign for success.
Wakanda Forever will be unlike anything Marvel Studios has ever done. It will balance memoriam and tribute with traditional storytelling and narrative structure, while also further fleshing out the world of Marvel's most advanced nation. Considering Coogler delivered the first Marvel Studios film to receive a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards, there aren't many people better for the job.
It is a bit surprising that Bassett "[doesn't] know" what the film is going to be like. As Queen Ramonda, Bassett had a fairly-sizable role in 2018's Black Panther, and even made a brief cameo appearance at the end of Avengers: Endgame. Her comments likely mean that the script has changed so many times that she's unaware of the complete vision, but probably knows some key elements.
Script rewrites are cause for concern in most cases, but Black Panther 2 is the exact opposite. Coogler and Cole going through upwards of six total incarnations of the narrative only emphasizes how much they care about delivering not just a strong sequel, but a heartfelt homage to Boseman.
Rest in peace, King.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is currently in production and is slated to release on July 8, 2022.
MCU Writer, Editor, Podcaster