The Hollywood Reporter has reported that the upcoming Black Panther sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, has faced yet another pause in production. Production restarted this past week after a previous COVID-19 delay only for several members of the cast and crew, including star Lupita Nyong’o, to test positive for the virus. Several delays for the film have not only stemmed from COVID-19, but also an injury sustained by Letitia Wright who portrays Shuri, presumably the lead of this film.
The film suffered a massive blow in August 2020 when Chadwick Boseman, who starred as the titular Black Panther/T’Challa, suddenly passed away from colon cancer. From there, director and writer Ryan Coogler had to shift plans and decide the next steps for the Black Panther franchise. Ultimately, it was decided for production to continue on the film, albeit in a new direction without Boseman. The film is expected to honor him and T’Challa in some form or fashion.
Marvel Studios seems to be working in anticipation of delays, since this past fall, the studio delayed their 2022 film release dates several months each. Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness was pushed from March to May, Thor: Love and Thunder was pushed from May to July, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was moved from July to November. Although this news may have been disappointing at the time, delays seem to be inevitable and it’s good to see studios planning ahead.
The production of Wakanda Forever is far from being the only one facing COVID-19 issues. Star Trek: Picard from Paramount+ also faces a pause in filming due to an excessive amount of positive cases, along with CBS’ NCIS. Hopefully productions can return to normalcy sooner rather than later to avoid any further delays.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is currently slated to release in theaters on November 11.