BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER Begins Production Hiatus; Read Marvel Studios' Statement To Cast & Crew
We recently learned that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is halting production to allow Letitia Wright time to recover from injuries suffered on set, and more details have been revealed by Marvel Studios.
Deadline has confirmed that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has now begun a planned production hiatus that will last the remainder of the year. The reason for this is to allow Shuri actress Letitia Wright time to recover from injuries she sustained on set earlier this year, which it now appears were worse than initially reported; the trade notes that she suffered from a fractured shoulder and concussion.
The anticipation is that Shuri will become the Black Panther franchise's new lead following the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman in 2020. That makes sense, because the character was an instant hit with fans and Shuri does take over the mantle of Black Panther in the comic books.
However, with the remaining Heart-Shaped Herbs destroyed by Erik Killmonger in the first movie, it remains to be seen how that would work. While cameras will stop rolling over the next few weeks, work is expected to resume as soon as January, so the release date is unlikely to change.
Here's the full statement sent out to cast and crew by Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito and Nate Moore:
As we wind down for the holidays, we wanted to send a note of thanks and appreciation for the hard work of our entire cast and crew, as well as an update on timing. First and foremost, this project is exceptional and something we know audiences are eager to see. We could not be any more excited to complete this film and share it with the world next year. Thank you for everything you’ve done to get us to this place.
Unfortunately, we’ve not gotten here without a few setbacks. Running a production of this scale in the midst of a pandemic is not an easy task, and you have remained diligent and professional throughout. In addition, as you are all aware, Letitia had a frightening accident on our set during a stunt back in August. It was a reminder of the importance of safety at all times in our work, which we know you understand and are committed to. What we had initially thought were minor injuries turned out to be much more serious with Letitia suffering a critical shoulder fracture, and a concussion with severe side effects. It has been a painful process and Letitia has been home recovering with her doctors and the support of family.
We’ve adjusted our production schedule so she has the time she needs to heal, but there’s only so much we can do without Shuri! We also want to thank Letitia for everything she’s doing to get back to the set – we know how much she loves this role, how tough it’s been for her to be away, and how hard she’s working to recover as quickly as she safely can. We are eagerly awaiting her return and we know we will all come back stronger together.
Please be on the lookout for more information on your specific return-to-work date. As of now, we’re on schedule to resume filming – with Letitia – in January 2022. We are all focused on finishing the movie with excellence, honoring the memory of our dear brother Chadwick in the process. We are thrilled to share Black Panther: Wakanda Forever with the world, confident that the challenges that we have overcome together as a team will make the film even more impactful. Please take care of yourselves and enjoy the holidays.
-Kevin, Louis & Nate
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to be released on November 11, 2022.