Marvel and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures have temporarily paused production on the upcoming sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” due to an injury sustained by star Letitia Wright. Wright sustained the injury back in August while shooting a sequence involving a stunt rig on location in Boston, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Due to the severity of the injury, she is continuing to recover.
Back in August when the injury occurred, Marvel assured the incident would not impact the film’s shooting schedule. IndieWire has reached out to representatives for Disney and Wright for comment.
Wright was hospitalized in August for the injury in Boston (where filming was then taking place), after which she left for London and has remained as production works around her. In the original film and sequel, Wright stars as Shuri, the sister of Black Panther T’Challa. Ryan Coogler is returning to direct the sequel to the original, which won three Academy Awards and grossed $1.3 billion globally. After Chadwick Boseman’s unexpected death in August 2020, Shuri was elevated to a lead character.
“Letitia has been recovering in London since September from injuries sustained on the set of ‘Black Panther 2’ and is looking forward to returning to work early 2022,” a representative for Wright told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. “Letitia kindly asks that you keep her in your prayers.”
Per reports, the shutdown is expected to commence the week of Thanksgiving, with hopes for an early 2022 return to production.
For the last two months, “Wakanda Forever” had been primarily shooting in Atlanta. So far, Coogler has reportedly shot all footage possible without Wright up to this point. (Coogler, back in April, penned an essay about shooting in Georgia amid voting law backlash. He affirmed the film would remain shooting in the state.)
“Black Panther 2” has already seen shuffles on the release calendar. Originally set to open on July 8, 2022, the film was pushed to November 11, 2022 back in October. The 2018 original film, based on the comic characters created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, opened in a February slot, and a year later earned seven Academy Awards including one for Best Picture. It’s regarded as one of the most acclaimed of any Marvel Cinematic Universe film.