Cameras are officially rolling on Marvel Cinematic Universe sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and there’s just over twelve months to go until the movie hits theaters. From a personal, professional, critical and commercial standpoint, it could well be the most hotly-anticipated entry in the franchise’s long and illustrious history.
Ryan Coogler’s opener became the first comic book blockbuster to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and it remains the highest-rated entry across all the MCU’s film and television projects on Rotten Tomatoes. On top of that, it’s the top-grossing solo film to ever come out of Marvel Studios, and currently ranks as the twelfth biggest box office hit in the history of cinema.
Then there’s the tragic passing of star Chadwick Boseman last summer, which sees the creative team driven to pay a fitting tribute to Black Panther‘s leading man, honoring his legacy while still delivering a crowd-pleasing superhero epic. It’s a tall order, but there’s more than enough talent to pull it off spectacularly.
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To celebrate the start of production, Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige said that everyone involved in Wakanda Forever will be doing their utmost to ensure that Boseman would be proud of what they’re putting together.
“It’s clearly very emotional without Chad…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.”
The first installment is one of the most culturally important big budget movies of the modern era, so Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will have a huge shadow looming over it due to both the success of its predecessor and the absence of Boseman. Coogler, Feige and the returning cast members know what they’re up against, though, and they’re more than capable of creating something that pays tribute to the T’Challa actor while also telling a standalone story in its own right.