The recent controversy regarding Georgia’s new restrictive voting law has caused some films to pull their own productions out of the state, but it looks like Black Panther II will continue its planned production in Georgia. Director Ryan Coogler commented on the new law and the film’s decision to stay in the state.
“As an African-American, and as a citizen, I oppose all attempts, explicit and otherwise, to shrink the electorate and reduce access to the ballot,” wrote Coogler. “When I was informed of the passage of SB202 in the state, and its ramifications for the state’s voters, I was profoundly disappointed.”
The director continued and explained that pulling production from the state may end up hurting the same people who will already be hurt by the new law. Some of the state’s leaders, including Stacey Abrams, Jon Ossoff and members of the local film community have echoed this concern.
“For those reasons, I will not be engaging in a boycott of Georgia,” Coogler continued. “Our film is staying in Georgia.”
Rather than simply continue production like normal, Coogler plans to use his influence to support organizations in the state that are fighting against voter suppression.
“I have made a personal commitment to raise awareness about ways to help overturn this harmful bill, and continue to get educated on this matter from people on the ground,” Coogler said. “I will encourage everyone working with me to tap in with the local community directly affected by Senate Bill 202 and to leverage their influence and resources to aid in the fight for this particular and essential pillar of democracy.”
Earlier this week, Antoine Fuqua and Will Smith made the decision to pull production on their Apple film, Emancipation, from the state. Tyler Perry, who runs his own studio out of Atlanta, criticized the bill after it was passed but didn’t go so far as to recommend a boycott.
“I’m resting my hope in the DOJ taking a hard look at this unconstitutional voter suppression law that harkens to the Jim Crow era,” Perry said. “As some consider boycotting, please remember that we did turn Georgia blue and there is a gubernatorial race on the horizon — that’s the beauty of a democracy.”
Black Panther II is set to release July 8, 2022. There is still little known about the plot of the upcoming sequel, especially since it will be made without the late Chadwick Boseman.