In the wake of Chadwick Boseman’s tragic death in 2020, many Marvel fans wondered how the “Black Panther” franchise could continue. Disney had already announced a sequel to Ryan Coogler’s 2018 hit, but it seemed impossible to keep making movies without Boseman as the eponymous superhero.
Marvel eventually found a way, opting not to recast the role and instead take an ensemble approach that focuses on supporting characters with the upcoming “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” But according to one of the film’s stars, Boseman still left a massive void on set.
Martin Freeman, who reprises his role as Everett K. Ross, recently spoke to Collider about making the sequel without Boseman. While he acknowledges that the show had to go on, he emphasized that the crew missed Boseman as much as fans do.
“It was strange, that side of it,” Freeman said. “On the one hand, you’re making the film that you’re there to make, and there are scores and scores of people on set, joined in this endeavor to make the film. But there’s also no question that, at the heart of it, there’s quite a gap now, and you felt it.”
That said, Freeman had nothing but good things to say about his experience making the film.
“With full respect to Ryan Coogler and everybody else, who’s sweating and bleeding to get this thing done properly, it was fun,” he said. “It was enjoyable. I was in and out of it quite quickly, I think. But I like playing Everett Ross. He’s a very fun character to play. He’s nicely simpatico for the story. He’s a good guy.”
“But it was odd. Of course, it was odd with Chadwick not being there,” he continued. “There’s no way around that. I think everyone would find it pretty strange and sad, but at the same time, life things don’t just end. It’s not like, ‘Well, that’s that’s happened, so we just all have to go off and never do it again.’”
Despite Boseman’s absence, Freeman believes that the world of “Black Panther” is rich enough to sustain more films and is proud of the one they made.
“When he passed, I thought, ‘Okay, well maybe there just won’t be another one.’ But there are still other stories to tell within that world and other great characters,” he said. “I hope that we’ve made a good film. I trust Ryan Coogler a lot.”
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” will be released in theaters on November 11, 2022.
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