Marvel Studios may just be starting its theatrical year with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but that does not stop both the studio and fans from thinking about how they will finish 2022. The final film on this year's MCU slate may be their most anticipated as well. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever comes to theaters on November 11 and has the curiosity of Marvel fans worldwide as it has the lofty task of moving the Black Panther story along while also honoring the first film's leading man.
When Chadwick Boseman tragically passed in August 2020, the film world fell into complete and utter shock. Not only did Marvel Studios lose a member of its family, but it also lost a building block for the future of the franchise.
Since then, the world of Wakanda has seemingly taken a much greater focus in the MCU, with a Wakanda series planned for Disney+, and various cameos for the country in projects like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
One of the actors returning for Wakanda Forever is Martin Freeman as FBI agent Everet Ross. While it is unknown if he will have any involvement in the franchise after the sequel, he has addressed his future in the MCU and what it was like on-set for Wakanda Forever.
Martin Freeman's MCU Future
Freeman said that he only signed with Marvel Studios for "three films" back in 2014, with Wakanda Forever being the last of those three. He did, however, say that "there are other bits that continue to be a little surprise" and that he "feels very, very lucky" to get to take part in these little bonus parts as well, thus not counting him out from the Disney+ project:
“I was contracted to do three films, Captain America and two Black Panthers. I knew that I’d be in one Cap and two Black Panthers. Beyond that, I didn’t know about any TV shows, or anything like that. Maybe they didn’t exist when I had that conversation with Kevin Feige in 2014. So much I knew, but there are other bits that continue to be a little surprise and like a little bonus. I love that feeling. I love being surprised and being contacted and having them go, ‘Do you wanna come and do this thing?’ It’s just fun. It’s a nice world to dip your toe in and to be able to have the freedom to come in and out, which is perfect for me. I don’t love being on the same thing, all the time. I don’t love that. I’m not saying anything particularly surprising there. I think people know that I like going and having an adventure over there, and then coming back, and then going over there and doing that. That feels very, very lucky to me, that I get to do that.”
In the same conversation, Freeman also pointed out what is was like working on the upcoming Black Panther sequel with our Chadwick Boseman on set. He described it as "strange" as "[they're] making the film that [they were] there to make," but there was "quite a gap" without Boseman:
“It was strange, that side of it. On the one hand, you’re making the film that you’re there to make, and there are scores and scores of people on set, joined in this endeavor to make the film. But there’s also no question that, at the heart of it, there’s quite a gap now, and you felt it. With full respect to Ryan Coogler and everybody else, who’s sweating and bleeding to get this thing done properly, it was fun. It was enjoyable. I was in and out of it quite quickly, I think. But I like playing Everett Ross. He’s a very fun character to play. He’s nicely simpatico for the story. He’s a good guy. But it was odd. Of course, it was odd with Chadwick [Boseman] not being there. There’s no way around that. I think everyone would find it pretty strange and sad, but at the same time, life things don’t just end. It’s not like, ‘Well, that’s that’s happened, so we just all have to go off and never do it again.’ But it was odd. When he passed, I thought, ‘Okay, well maybe there just won’t be another one.’ But there are still other stories to tell within that world and other great characters. I think, and I hope that we’ve made a good film. I trust Ryan Coogler a lot.”
The actor closed by bringing up some of his own quotes from last year, calling the Wakanda Forever script "odd," clarifying that now that filming had completed "it feels much more three-dimensional and real:"
“Yes, I can envisage it much, much more now. When Ryan was going through it and talking me through the beats, I kept stopping him going, ‘What did you just say?,’ which was quite funny. Obviously, once you’ve been on the set, it feels much more three-dimensional and real yeah.”
More Work for Agent Ross
Surely, this is Martin Freeman saying that even though his contract with Marvel will be complete after Wakanda Forever, there is always the potential for more. And he seems game to do more, talking about how he loves the idea of just popping in on different adventures, with or without a contract.
It is likely that if Freeman wants to be back for a potential Wakanda Disney+ series and beyond, he will be. He is passionate about the franchise and likes being a part of it.
As for his comments about Wakanda Forever and the untimely passing of what would have been the film's star, as is the case with most everyone working on this film, it is easy to tell how much Boseman meant to him.
Chadwick was not just a hero on-screen, he seemed to be just as revered when the cameras weren't rolling on set. But as has been said by many others, making Wakanda Forever was almost a therapeutic experience, allowing this cast and crew to collectively mourn and make art in Boseman's honor.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever comes to theaters on November 11.