Questions still remain as to the treatment of Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa in Black Panther 2. The forthcoming Marvel epic will be directed, as before, by Ryan Coogler, taking us back into the extraordinary world of Wakanda. Black Panther 2 is set to be a pivotal chapter in Phase Five of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), but Boseman's tragic death in August 2020 left the future of the project uncertain.
In an interview with Deadline, Marvel's Kevin Feige says the focus will be on Wakanda itself, expanding on the legacy of T'Challa through a look at the landscape: "So much of the comics and that first movie is the world of Wakanda. Wakanda is a place to further explore with characters and different subcultures. This was always and initially the primary focus of the next story."
Feige adds: "We’re not going to have a CG Chadwick and we’re not recasting T’Challa. Ryan Coogler is working very hard right now on the script with all the respect and love and genius that he has, which gives us great solace, so it was always about furthering the mythology and the inspiration of Wakanda. There’s also the task of honoring and respecting the ongoing learnings and teachings from Chad as well."
Speculation is mounting that Letitia Wright could take centre stage in her role as Shuri, T'Challa's sister. (Wright has also called for an all-female Avengers movie in the future.) Either way, Black Panther 2 is set to evolve in unexpected ways following the sadness of recent events. The movie is poised to begin shooting in 2021.
In the meantime, Marvel Phase Four is set to kick off with Black Widow in May 2021 (release schedule permitting). Phase Five, meanwhile, could encompass movies such as Ant-Man 3, now officially known as Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.