Marvel Studios excited fans this weekend with the release of a sizzle real that included plenty of information about its next slate of films, including the titles of some of the most anticipated films being released in the next few years. One of those was the sequel to blockbuster Oscar-nominated film, The Black Panther, which will be called Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
The name, which honors Chadwick Boseman’s tragic passing, was one that everyone involved in the film wanted as a way to express how the actor will always be a part of the Black Panther universe in people’s minds and hearts.
It’s already been confirmed—not that there was much doubt in anyone’s mind, that T’Challa wouldn’t be recast in Ryan Coogler’s forthcoming sequel.
Of course, Boseman portrayed the titular hero in four MCU films, and his tragic death last year had a deep impact on all throughout the Marvel universe.
Lupita Nyong’o, who plays Nakia, T’Challa’s former lover and an undercover spy for Wakanda, recently talked to Yahoo recently about what it was like shooting the film without her friend.
“People will ask me, ‘Are you excited to go back?’ Excitement isn’t the word. I feel like I’m in a very pensive and meditative state when it comes to Black Panther 2,” she said during the interview. “His passing is still extremely raw for me. And I can’t even begin to imagine what it will be like to step on set and not have him there.”
Martin Freeman, who confirmed he would return to the sequel as Everett Ross, also talked about how his director has carefully reshaped the story of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to honor Boseman:
“We have a leader in Ryan, who feels very much like we do, who feels the loss in a very, very real way as well,” Freeman said. “And his idea, the way which he has reshaped the second movie is so respectful of the loss we’ve all experienced as a cast and as a world. So, it feels spiritually and emotionally correct to do this. And hopefully, what I do look forward to, is getting back together and honoring what he started with us and holding his light through it. Because he left us a lot of light that we’re still going to be bathing in. I know that for sure.”