Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is just under a year away, but so many questions still remain about the project, including those surrounding actress Letitia Wright. Director Ryan Coogler and the MCU team were thrown a tragic curveball when Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman passed in 2020 after years of privately battling colon cancer. Since then, the world has wondered how Marvel Studios would respond in the sequel, or if a sequel would even happen at all.
Well, the team decided to push forward, honoring the legacy of Boseman with Wakanda Forever and passing the Black Panther torch onto someone worthy of the mantle. One of the names that has come up most prominently in those conversations is Letitia Wright's Shuri.
However, the actress has been anything but easy to work around over the past few months, with Wright taking a stand against COVID-19 vaccines and then sustaining an injury which forced her to take time away from the project.
Now, the Shuri actress is ready to go and come back to set, but Marvel may have made some changes in her absence.
Letitia Wright Causes Black Panther 2 Rewrites
According to known insider KC Walsh, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever writer-director Ryan Coogler and co. changed the ending of the sequel in the midst of Letitia Wright's problematic actions on set.
Walsh tweeted after questions of Wright being fired from the project started to bubble up, confirming that the studio and actress parting ways was a "completely fake news story:"
"I don’t know why I even have to put this out but I feel like this fire is getting out of control thanks to a completely fake news story, but I’ve confirmed with my source that Letitia Wright has NOT been fired by Marvel/Disney at this time."
He went on to clarify that Marvel Studios' team has "changed the ending" to Wakanda Forever because of Wright, so they were not going to "rewrite and reshoot the entire film because of her:"
"And anyone with two brain cells to rub together could have figured this out, they already changed the ending because of Wright, they are not going to rewrite and reshoot the entire film because of her."
UPDATE (May 23rd, 2022):
Letitia Wright has recently commented on how her Black Panther 2 controversy impacted filming the sequel.
The Letitia Wright Saga Continues
This whole Letitia Wright story is such a bummer for MCU fans. The young actress turned heads when she appeared as Shuri in Black Panther back in 2018, and after the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman last year Shuri felt like the most natural fit to take up the Black Panther mantle.
Wright could have had the chance to mean so much to so many people in a similar way to Boseman's Marvel hero, and she seemingly has thrown it all away. The young actress is obviously causing some friction within Marvel Studios, and her personal beliefs may have cost her the opportunity of a lifetime.
While this does not mean she has been fired from Wakanda Forever (at least not yet), it does make a lot of sense that if director Ryan Coogler was initially going to hand her the Black Panther mantle, that Marvel Studios, Coogler, and his team, make some changes and perhaps have someone else carry the torch of the Wakandan hero.
It's not hard to see the headache that Wright has caused the MCU brass in the past six or so months, but a full retooling of a movie that is deep into production just does not make sense.
As Walsh mentioned above, just the ending has been changed, meaning smaller reshoots will have to happen (which Marvel projects are no stranger to) before the film hits theaters next summer. It is then perhaps, when the movie is out in the world, that Marvel Studios will cut ties with Wright.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on July 11, 2022.