A new report has explained why Marvel Studios 'downplayed' Letitia Wright's accident on the set of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Heading into Black Panther 2, audiences know that the franchise's greatest loss isn't just addressed but is key to its ongoing story. However, Chadwick Boseman's passing is far from the only challenge the Black Panther team faced during production.
In addition to pandemic concerns and restrictions, Shuri's Letitia Wright was injured on-set, resulting in her being hospitalized on production being forced to halt.
When the news first broke, Wright's injuries were reportedly minimal; but in the months that followed, the severity of the accident became more clear.
Now, on the eve of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's theatrical debut, MCU fans are learning more about Wright's accident and why Marvel was hesitant to share the full story.
How Marvel Handled Letitia Wright's Black Panther Accident
According to Variety, Marvel Studios downplayed Letitia Wright's accident while filming Black Panther 2 to protect the actress' privacy.
In August 2021, Wright was injured while filming a motorcycle chase sequence in Boston, resulting in a statement from the studio that the actress "sustained minor injuries" and that there would be no impact on the film's shooting schedule.
Producer Nate Moore has now explained that the "biscuit rig" that showed her riding the motorcycle "clipped a median and shared the bike off, and it tumbled."
This resulted in Wright being hospitalized with a fractured shoulder and a concussion in addition to other injuries.
In talking about the accident now, the actress admits that “I’m still processing it. I’m still working through it in therapy. It was really traumatic.”
The on-set accident occurred while Wright was filming with Black Panther 2's second unit. Neither Moore nor director Ryan Coogler was present in Boston. Instead, both were in Atlanta filming with the main unit and heard the news over the phone.
In describing how it felt to hear about Wright's accident, Coogler said, "Imagine getting that call that your little sister's hurt:"
“It was about how you can imagine. I mean, I love these actors. That’s me and Chad’s little sister. Imagine getting that call that your little sister’s hurt. It’s the f****** worst thing in the world.”
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige also struggled in discussing the accident, saying, "It was particularly harsh" given the emotional obstacles the Black Panther team was facing:
“It was horrifying on any production happening to anybody. It was particularly harsh on this production that was already, uh … emotionally strained.”
Both Coogler and Feige flew to Boston to visit Wright before she went to London to recover. As to what the actress told her director upon his visit, Wright explained:
“I just remember wanting to finish my film, man. I think that was one of the first things I said to Ryan. And he was like, ‘Tish, you need to recover.’”
Was Marvel's Decision About Shuri Actress the Right Call?
Marvel Studios wasn't the only one who claimed Wright's injuries were minimal.
Angela Bassett, who plays Shuri's mother, Queen Ramonda, described the accident as a "little bit of a fall," claiming that Wright "is fine and ready to go."
Naturally, there have been a number of theories as to why Marvel Studios, and its talent, kept the extent of the actress' injuries under wraps.
One of which was due to rumors and speculation about Letitia Wright's vaccination views.
While fans will never know all of the when and why that played out behind the scenes, it's worth considering what would've happened if Marvel hadn't downplayed the accident.
For instance, Wright's accident occurred just days before the one-year anniversary of Chadwick Boseman's passing.
News of Shuri's Letitia Wright having suffered a fracture and concussion would've dominated headlines. Plus, it would've negatively impacted the narrative surrounding Wakanda Forever which, at its core, is about honoring Boseman and learning to carry on.
It's also worth noting that, following Wright's recovery, Marvel and Black Panther talent haven't denied what happened on set.
In fact, since then, Wright has commented on what she endured, expressing that she's proud to have been able to "bounce back" and give additional strength to her character "in the face of adversity."
Given all that the cast and crew endured, the fact that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever exists is a victory all its own, let alone how excellent the reactions have been.
And, it's something audiences should keep in mind heading into the sequel as the events on screen are reflections of the cast and crew's real-life experiences.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever arrives in theaters on November 11.