June 14, 2024

‘Black Panther’ sequel delayed again due to omicron surge

A month after it was announced that production on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever had resumed filming in Atlanta amid the COVID-19 pandemic, now comes word that it is being delayed again due to a surge in the omicron variant. 

Production was delayed due to some cast and crew members, including star Lupita Nyong’o, testing positive for COVID-19, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will resume production next week. The film is expected to shoot for four weeks.

Letitia Wright is expected to reprise her role as the brave and brainy Princess Shuri in the Black Panther sequel, theGrio previously reported. The rumor suggesting she had exited the film made the Guyanese-born British actress a trending topic on Twitter late last year. 

Letitia Wright stars as Shuri in Black Panther (Credit: Marvel)

Wright also went viral for tweeting a YouTube video questioning the legitimacy of COVID-19 vaccines. The backlash prompted her to delete her social media accounts. In October, THR reported she expressed negative feelings about COVID-19 vaccines while filming BP2 in Atlanta. She later denied those claims on Instagram before deleting her Instagram account once again.

The movie’s production crew, helmed by director Ryan Coogler, stopped filming in November for just over two months after Wright sustained an injury on-set and was temporarily hospitalized. The trade publication’s Heat Vision newsletter dispelled rumors reported by another outlet that Wright didn’t want to return to the set of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever due to her alleged refusal to get vaccinated.

Wright is expected to return as the new lead for the film in the absence of star Chadwick Boseman, who died in August 2020 after a private four-year battle with colon cancer. 

Black Panther Chadwick Boseman thegrio.com
Actor Chadwick Boseman attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ at Dolby Theatre on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Blank Panther fans are calling on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to honor Boseman by recasting King T’Challa in Black Panther 2. However, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said his titular role would not be recast. The film will instead “explore the world of Wakanda and the rich characters introduced in the first film,” Feige said.

“To honor the legacy that Chad helped us build, we want to continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film,” Feige said.

Last year, fans launched a change.org petition in support of recasting the role “to continue the portrayal of T’Challa in the MCU.” In a recent interview with TMZ, Boseman‘s brother said the actor would want the iconic role of T’Challa in Black Panther recast in the sequels.

Derrick Boseman told the outlet that he thinks the character, “needs to live on in the Black Panther franchise,” even if that means bringing in another actor to join the MCU and portray him. He said that his late brother “knew the power of the character, and the positive influence it carries.”

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is expected to arrive in theaters on Nov. 11.

This article contains additional reporting from theGrio’s Chauncey Alcorn.

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