The tragic death of Chadwick Boseman was an emotional blow to the Marvel filmmaking family. It also left a huge hole in their plans for his character, T'Challa, who was going to feature heavily in the next phase of Marvel movies. But Kevin Feige and writer/director Ryan Coogler must have landed on a solution because they have set a production date for Black Panther 2 in July of 2021.
It's tough to say exactly how Marvel plans to move forward without Boseman, but they have confirmed they will not be recreating T'Challa in CGI. And it's telling that they made the announcement regarding Tenoch Huerta (Narcos: Mexico) joining the cast as the villain, but didn't mention any other new cast members - namely a lead replacement for T'Challa. That leaves fans to speculate that Letitia Wright's Shuri will be a central character in carrying the franchise forward.
Wright and Huerta will be joined on-set in Atlanta by Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, and Angela Bassett, all of which will be reprising their roles from the original Black Panther and Avengers movies. With the production starting in July and lasting for up to six months, it will be tight to get it finished before its current release date of May 6, 2022. But with the sheer number of projects being produced, it will important to stay on schedule.
Spider-Man 3 and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness are already filming with Marvel veterans Jon Watts and Sam Raimi. Taika Waititi will direct the next Thor film starting in January in Australia. Thor: Love and Thunder is already starting to feel like another Civil War cross-over film, with Chris Pratt and Van Desiel involved. The next Ant-Man movie is also slated to begin shooting next year. And James Gunn returns to Marvel to direct Guardians of the Galaxy 3 at the end of 2021.
That may seem like a lot, but we haven't even mentioned the Mahershala Ali Blade reboot, and the hiring of Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Loeglin of Bob’s Burgers fame to write Deadpool 3.
While those are filming, fans will have feature releases of Black Widow (May 7), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (July 9), and Eternals (Nov. 11), all in 2021 with four more theatrical titles slated for 2022.
It's a great time to be a Marvel fan!