The Black Panther Sequel Faces a Production Shutdown While Letitia Wright Recovers From Injury (UPDATED)
Production shutdowns are nothing new, especially in the age of the coronavirus pandemic. But while some are inevitable, others are avoidable and even more unfortunate. The latest news of a shutdown comes from the set of the Black Panther sequel, as Letitia Wright deals with the fallout of an on-set injury.
What Is Going On With The Black Panther Sequel Shutdown?
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever began production back in July of 2021. Starting at Pinewood Studios in Atlanta, the plan would have it ready for a November 11th, 2022 release date. However, Letitia Wright, who plays Shuri, was injured in August. The injuries occurred while working with a stunt rig, and the initial reports suggested that they were only minor.
Reports from the initial incident also confirmed that the film’s production would not face any delays. But after spending a few months shooting around the star and on-screen sister to Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa, they’re left with lots to film and an actress who isn’t able to do it yet. The shutdown will begin later this month and will last until early 2022.
Image via Marvel Studios
Does The Shutdown Mean Bigger Things For Shuri?
Plot details of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever have yet to be revealed, as is the case for all Marvel projects these days. Though, fans have developed plenty of theories that suggest Shuri’s rise to the mantle of the Black Panther. The shutdown in production may also hint at a more prominent role for Shuri, who was mostly used as a secondary character in the 2018 film.
Major rewrites occurred following the tragic death of Boseman in 2020. A sequel to his initial debut was a sure thing after the massive box office and critical success of Black Panther, but the complications of losing a leading man were sure to be felt throughout production. As a fan-favorite, Shuri’s rise to leadership seems likely. And if her injuries are forcing an expensive shutdown, then it’s almost definite that her role is something significant.
Image via Marvel Studios
Who Will Be The Antagonist To Our Wakandans?
These predictions also support earlier theories that suggest the film’s antagonist may be Namor, played by Tenoch Huerta. Namor is the morally complex prince of Atlantis in the Marvel comics. His experience as a leader and a fighter could fit in with the already politically driven points throughout the Black Panther storylines. He has an existing and adversarial relationship with Shuri, as well as the rest of Wakanda.
An important incident between the characters occurred when Namor flooded Wakanda in 2012 with Avengers vs. X-Men #8, creating a long-lasting rivalry. If the rumors about Namor are true, the film may follow this storyline or some of the ramifications afterward.
The rights to the sub-mariner were questionable early on in the development of the MCU. He had previously been licensed by Universal Studios, though a film never came to fruition. In 2016, Marvel’s Joe Quesada confirmed that the rights were back in the hands of Marvel. So, it seems likely that Namor will appear in the franchise, and we’re betting that Wakanda Forever may be the right occasion.
Image via Marvel Studios.
Find out the truth behind the Black Panther sequel shutdown when it drops in theaters next year.
Fortunately, the release date of November 11th has not been impacted (yet.) We’re in favor of taking all of the time they need if it means that Wright can recover safely and without the added stress of delaying a franchise.
Update: Production to Resume on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
A new report from The Hollywood Reporter, production (and all cast) are expected to return to work in January of 2022. Still, whether the studio ends up moving the date a third time remains to be seen. This film, like any other, also faces the prospect of an interruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still ongoing at the time of this writing. Whether this (or any other Marvel Studios movie) changes its release date is likely more influenced by pandemic and box office considerations than anything. So, watch Comic Years for the latest news on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and all other upcoming comic book and genre films.
Readers, do you think that the production shutdown is indicative of the film’s plot? And if Shuri finds her way into the Black Panther mantle, will you be rooting for her? Drop your thoughts and predictions in the comments below!
Featured image via Marvel Studios.
Meghan Hale is the kind of movie lover that has a "must watch" that is a mile long... and growing. When she isn't talking about the latest film and television news she is writing one of her many in-process novels, screaming film trivia at anybody who will listen, and working as a mental health care professional. Follow her on Twitter @meghanrhale for some fun theories and live reactions to all things entertainment.