Following a string of setbacks, including the most serious being an on-set injury and COVID-19-related infections, Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has finally resumed production, with lead Letitia Wright recovering and returning to Atlanta in good shape to reprise her role as her fan-favorite character Shuri.
Production was scheduled to been restarted on Monday, but it was delayed because of a variety of crew members and cast members, Lupita Nyong’o being one of them having tested positively for COVID-19. Filming is scheduled to restart at Atlanta next week for the Ryan Coogler directed film and, according to reports, will approximately four weeks.
In August of last year, Wright suffered an injury when filming a sequence that involved the use of a stunt rig located in Boston. Production was stopped in the latter part of November as they Wakanda Foreverteam recorded as many scenes as they could without Wright and Wright was recovering from her residence in London
Eyes were focused on Wright the British citizen, due to the fact that she had voiced negative views about COVID vaccine. The CDC recently enacted rules that required all non-immigrant passengers who aren’t citizens to travel to travel to the U.S. to be fully vaccination-free and show evidence of vaccination prior to embarking on an aircraft. While she did not make any comments about her vaccination status, multiple sources claim these issues have been addressed.
Wright’s agent did not speak out, merely telling The Hollywood Reporter, “She always intended to return but just needed to wait until she had fully recovered.”
Sources also say Winston Duke, who plays M’Baku, has negotiated a substantial increase for his Return in the role of Black Panther due to what’s described as an expanding character within his role in the Panther mythology. What this expansion will look like isn’t clear.
Marvel had no comment.
The insiders tell us that the delay will not have any impact on the release date of the film that’s currently November. 11 2022. The film was relocated once prior to that, beginning July 8th, 2022.
Wakanda Forever has traveled a rough route to date. Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman passed away from colon cancer in August of 2020 and Marvel and the film makers having to reconsider the idea without the popular actor. Wright was an overnight star in 2018 because of her performance as Shuri who is who is the younger sister to Black Panther T’Challa and was elevated to lead the sequel. It’s unclear if this increased status will last beyond this sequel in the future films and/or Disney+ series.