To say there’s an air of mystery surrounding Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a bit of an understatement. There’s so much we don’t know about this movie, which is currently filming in Atlanta. But we know at least one good thing: Winston Duke will return as M’Baku.
The actor himself confirmed his involvement when chatting with Collider while doing press for his film Nine Days. He will be joining back with previously confirmed cast members Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Lupita Nyong’o, and Angela Bassett.
Duke specifically discussed how emotional it was returning to the world of Black Panther, once again under the direction of Ryan Coogler, in light of the surprising and devastating death of Chadwick Boseman.
“It was very emotional to read the script. It was emotional to pack to go back to set. But we’re all a bit of a family now and we grieve together, and we’re making something really special.”
Can Black Panther Work Without Chadwick Boseman?
The MCU isn’t known for being too forthcoming with information on their in-production slate, but the Black Panther sequel is more shrouded in mystery than usual, primarily due to all the questions surrounding how the sequel will roll in Boseman’s absence.
Will T’Challa be written out of the story? Will the role be recast? Will they pull a Fast and Furious and have T’Challa out there somewhere doing his thing while the movies focus on different characters?
It feels a little morbid to be considering all these scenarios. The wounds are still fresh for many who looked up to him and the line Coogler and his team have to walk to both respect his legacy and continue the series is a treacherous but important one.
The last thing we want to do is tackle any speculation with a ghoulish bent, but we also have to reconcile that with a natural curiosity of how they’re moving forward.
Black Panther means something deeper to so many people. More than your average run-of-the-mill superhero movie that’s for sure. Don’t believe me? Just watch this:
I’ll always remember the opening weekend for this film. I had seen it at a press screening and really dug it and wanted to go back and watch it again. There were whole families, multiple generations, in the crowd of all ethnicities and genders. They cheered, they laughed, they cried. Afterward, they’d gather up and take pictures with their loved ones in front of the Black Panther standee, wanting to mark this moment. Grandparents, moms, dads, teenagers, young kids…everybody.
I’ve never seen anything like that and it will always stick with me as a testament to the power of storytelling and what it can mean to people.
Chadwick Boseman is the Black Panther. He always will be. But it is important to keep that powerful storytelling going, to show audiences that not all superheroes have blue eyes and pale complexions.
Obviously, Marvel knows this. Ryan Coogler knows this. The show must go on, as the saying goes, and while we don’t know if the weight of the armor can hold up without Boseman we do know they need to at least try to continue the legacy that he established. This world means too much for too many people to not at least give it a go.
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