Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Fully Shuts Down Production

By Michileen Martin | 5 seconds ago

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever isn’t done filming, but it’s done filming for this year as Letitia Wright recovers from injuries she suffered while filming a stunt in August. Deadline reports that the anticipated shutdown — first announced two weeks ago — has taken effect. Production is expected to commence in early 2022, but there is at least one good reason to believe filming could be delayed longer.

Deadline’s new report gives us some more solid information about what happened to Wright in August, as well as when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever could restart production. The added details come from a letter addressed to the cast and crew from Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, and Nate Moore. While specifics of Wright’s injuries weren’t previously known, the letter mentions a “frightening accident” Wright had, leaving her with “a critical shoulder fracture, and a concussion with severe side effects.” Also, while the previous reports of the shutdown named simply “early 2022” for the production restart, the letter specifies January as the target month. However it seems like a precise date hasn’t been picked, since the letter asks the cast and crew to “be on the lookout for more information on [the] specific return-to-work date.”

One possible reason for the letter failing to offer a specific date may be that more delays are anticipated. Letitia Wright is recuperating from her injuries in London, while most of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever‘s production has taken place in Atlanta. As reported by THR, on November 8 the CDC instituted a new rule requiring all non-immigrant, non-citizens flying into the US to be vaccinated. Wright has reportedly been open about her anti-vaccination views. Assuming that means Wright’s unvaccinated, if she remains unvaccinated when it’s time to come back to work and the CDC hasn’t rescinded the rule, Wakanda Forever might have to wait longer than January to get back to work.

Reports first emerged in late August that Letitia Wright had been hurt while shooting a stunt during overnight filming in Boston. At the time, the injury’s exact nature wasn’t disclosed though Marvel confirmed Wright’s brief hospitalization. At the time, it wasn’t believed the shooting schedule would be affected, though clearly that changed.

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At the very least, the fact that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever production is shutting down for at least a month and a half because of Letitia Wright’s absence would seem to confirm that the actress will have a much larger role than the one she enjoyed in 2018’s Black Panther. In fact, the letter from Feige, et al. includes “there’s only so much we can do without Shuri!” That line will likely serve as more proof to speculating fans that Shuri will replace T’Challa as the next Black Panther in the upcoming sequel, much as she did for a time in the source material.

The good news is that writer/director Ryan Coogler and the rest of the cast and crew will have a little bit more elbow room in their schedule thanks to the line-wide delays announced last month. With the exception of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, every single post-2021 Marvel Studios film’s release date has been pushed back. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, originally scheduled to hit theaters next July, will instead release on November 11, 2o22 — the date originally held for The Marvels.