Actress Letitia Wright, known for her role as Shuri in Marvel’s Black Panther (2018), has spoken out about how the film’s sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, will serve as an homage to the late Chadwick Boseman, who portrayed T’Challa, Wright’s on-screen brother, in the original film. Following Boseman’s unexpected passing in 2020, Marvel decided to continue producing the Black Panther sequel without its leading hero.
In the original Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman played T’Challa, the heir to the secluded but technologically advanced nation of Wakanda. Following his father’s death in Captain America: Civil War (2016), T’Challa was forced to take on not only the leadership of his nation but also the mantle of Black Panther, which had been passed down through generations of kings.
Throughout the film, one of T’Challa’s greatest supporters was Letitia Wright as Shuri, his little sister, the genius behind his superhero. In Black Panther, Shuri is responsible for some of Wakanda’s greatest inventions, from the invisible car to the upgraded Black Panther suit that fans would see T’Challa wear in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. In the original film, Shuri is described as “innovative of spirit and mind, wanting to take Wakanda to ‘a new place’.” Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will reportedly see Shuri taking on a more mature role following the death of her brother; Variety reports that Letitia Wright will have a “larger part” in the Black Panther sequel.
How Black Panther Will Go On Without Chadwick Boseman
By all accounts, Marvel is making history by producing a direct sequel to Black Panther without, well, the Black Panther. MovieWeb confirms that the role of T’Challa has not been recast for the sequel, meaning that someone else will have to don the mantle of Black Panther – fans have been speculating that we might even see Shuri herself fill her brother’s shoes, though these theories are unconfirmed.
Regardless of who wears his suit, the loss of Chadwick Boseman has been widely felt and spoken about by many of the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever cast ahead of the film’s release later this year. Regarding Boseman’s impact on the Black Panther sequel and its development, Letitia Wright told Variety: “It is an incredible honor for Chadwick Boseman, it’s jam-packed with exciting stuff…We honored him by committing ourselves to the story that he started, the legacy that he started with this franchise.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, starring Letitia Wright, is slated to be released in November 2022, making it Marvel’s last release for the year.