Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the highly anticipated follow-up to the hit Marvel movie, began shooting in Atlanta on Tuesday.

By Jason Lamphier
June 30, 2021 at 11:04 AM EDT
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"Just because something works doesn't mean it can't be improved," says the wise character Shuri in Black Panther. Marvel Studios is hoping that proves true as the sequel to the Oscar-winning superhero smash begins production this week.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the highly anticipated follow-up to Black Panther, started shooting at Pinewood Studios in Atlanta, confirmed Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige to Variety.

Ryan Coogler is back to direct, and much of the original cast will reportedly reprise their roles minus their leading man as Chadwick Boseman died in August 2020 from colon cancer at the age of 43.

MARVEL’S AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther in 'Avengers: Infinity War.'
| Credit: Marvel

Plot details remain top secret, and Feige hasn't specified which actors will return, but Daniel Kaluuya, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong'o, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Winston Duke, and Florence Kasumba are all expected to appear in the film.

"It's clearly very emotional without Chad," Feige said before the Black Widow Global Fan Event in Los Angeles on Tuesday night. "But everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans. We're going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud."

Feige confirmed last year that the next chapter of Black Panther will "honor the legacy" of Boseman and not recast his character T'Challa.

Black Panther hit cinemas in 2018, raking in $1.34 billion worldwide and becoming Marvel's highest-grossing non-Avengers film of all time as well as the first superhero movie to snag an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. The movie earned seven Oscar nominations total, winning for Best Score, Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design.

A sequel has been in the works since almost immediately after the first film was released, with Coogler quickly signing on to write and direct. But plans were put into question after Boseman's death. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has recast its superhero roles before: Mark Ruffalo took over for Edward Norton as the Hulk, and Don Cheadle replaced Terrence Howard as War Machine. However, Marvel fans denounced the idea of recasting T'Challa because of Boseman's powerful performance.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is due to hit cinemas July 8, 2022, and will stream on Disney+.

Coogler is also developing a television series about Wakanda as part of a new television deal the filmmaker struck with Disney and his production company, Proximity Media. The five-year deal leaves the door open for Coogler to create other series, and he has teased he's already "in the mix on some projects."

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