Ryan Coolger is forging ahead with Black Panther 2. Obviously, he restructured the script because lead actor Chadwick Boseman died last year of colon cancer at the age of 43.

After his death, fans were speculating on how the franchise will continue without him. Some said the sequel should go full speed ahead, while others say to let it be as Boseman is the only one who can do the superhero justice. When actress Lupita Nyong’o (who plays Nikia in Black Panther) spoke to Yahoo, she shed some light on how the cast and crew will move forward — which is easier said than done.

“I can’t even begin to imagine what it will be like to step on set and not have him there.” Nyong’o and Boseman were good friends, and losing him has taken a personal toll on her, “His passing is still extremely raw for me.”

The press has asked the actress if she’s excited about filming, but with a heavy sense of loss, how can anyone be excited? “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.”

The good thing is Coogler wrote a script that honours the late actor’s legacy in every way. “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. 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.”

Just because Chadwick Boseman is gone doesn’t mean he isn’t here in spirit. He left an impact on everyone who knew him, and the cast and crew of Black Panther 2 will never forget what he left behind. “I do look forward to, is getting back together and honouring 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.”

The film goes into production later this year and will film in Georgia. The release date for the Black Panther sequel is listed as July 22, 2022

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