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Black Panther 2 Was Reshaped To Respect Chadwick Boseman's Death

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In a recent interview, actress Lupita Nyong’o opened up about the realities of creating Black Panther 2 in the wake of the death of lead actor, Chadwick Boseman. Boseman, who portrayed the Black Panther, a.k.a., King T’Challa of Wakanda, in the first film died last year at the age of 43 from colon cancer. The sequel to Black Panther has been highly anticipated since the first films' release, but Boseman’s untimely death has brought up many questions about the state of the future film. 

Boseman created massive intrigue among Marvel fans when he first appeared as T’Challa/Black Panther in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. Not long after, the first Black Panther released in 2018 as the 18th film (Phase 3) in the MCU to an enormous uproar of critical and financial success. Black Panther broke tons of records including the highest-grossing film by a Black director (Ryan Coogler), and (at the time) in the top 10 highest-grossing films of all time. Black Panther was nominated for multiple Oscars, including Best Picture (the first superhero film to ever be nominated in this category), and won three of them. Clearly, the film made an enormous impact as not only an incredibly successful Marvel film, but the first Black Marvel superhero film as well. Boseman, as that superhero, was an incredibly large part of that global impact.

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RELATED:The Dora Milaje Show How Black Panther 2 Can Work Without T’Challa

Boseman’s co-star and love interest in Black Panther, Academy Award winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o, revealed to Yahoo! that the sequel was reimagined to properly address a world without T’Challa and without Chadwick Boseman. In the interview, Nyong’o explains that filming the sequel will be incredibly difficult for her because she is still immensely grieving over Boseman’s passing. Read what Nyong'o said below:

People will ask me, ‘Are you excited to go back?’ Excitement isn’t the word. I feel like I’m in a very pensive and meditative state when it comes to Black Panther 2. His passing is still extremely raw for me. And I can’t even begin to imagine what it will be like to step on set and not have him there.

Then she goes on to briefly mention the future of the Black Panther sequel, explaining that Coogler made the right approach. Nyong’o talks about how Coogler “reshaped” the entire second movie to properly address Boseman’s passing and to respect and honor the incredible person and talent that he was:

But at the same time we have a leader in Ryan, who feels very much like we do, who feels the loss in a very, very real way as well. And his idea, the way which he has reshaped the second movie is so respectful of the loss we’ve all experienced as a cast and as a world. So it feels spiritually and emotionally correct to do this. And hopefully, what I do look forward to, is getting back together and honoring what he started with us and holding his light through it. Because he left us a lot of light that we’re still going to be bathing in. I know that for sure.

Boseman’s death left fans and colleagues with an incredibly heavy heart and left the intended sequel in heavily mirky waters. Shortly after Boseman’s death, it was thankfully announced that Marvel wouldn’t be recasting T’Challa. However, the predictable questions only loomed larger: without the Black Panther, what will Black Panther 2 look like? And, even more, will it be worth it?

Given the care that Boseman’s fellow castmates and leader, Ryan Coogler, had for the late actor, and still have for the incredible importance of the franchise for Marvel’s Black fans in particular, it is no surprise that the minds behind Black Panther 2 are doing everything they can to make a great and worthy film. And perhaps, as Nyong’o points out in the interview, the best way for fans to grieve for Boseman and T’Challa is to do it with all of the people (fictional and real) who care about him, together in one film with one loving message. While fans continue to make their own theories about Black Panther 2, it is clear that no matter what the outcome, fans will be watching and saluting Boseman with “Wakanda Forever.” The film is set to release in July of 2022.

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