Black Panther 2 will begin shooting next July in Atlanta, according to the The Hollywood Reporter, although exactly how the film will proceed without star Chadwick Boseman — who passed away from cancer in August — remains a mystery for now.
Ryan Coogler is once again directing, with the shoot expected to last six months. Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Letitia Wright (Shuri), Winston Duke (M'Baku), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Martin Freeman (Agent Ross), and Angela Bassett (Ramonda) are all expected to return for the sequel, and it's been speculated that Wright's Shuri may follow her brother T'Challa as the Black Panther — as she did in the comics.
A new cast member, Tenoch Huerta (Narcos: Mexico), has reportedly joined the film in the role of one of its villains, although the character has not been disclosed. Black Panther 2 was originally supposed to begin production in March 2021, but was delayed by Boseman's shocking death, as well as the ongoing pandemic.
One thing you apparently won't see in Black Panther 2 is any sort of CG recreation of Boseman, who also played the groundbreaking role in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. Marvel has reportedly ruled out the use of digital effects to put Boseman on screen.
Black Panther 2's production start is part of a larger wave of activity that is ramping up after 2020 turned into the first year since 2009 without a Marvel Cinematic Universe adventure in theaters.
With three movies and three TV series already completed or near completion — Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, WandaVision, Loki, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier — and hopefully showing up in theaters and on Disney+ in 2021, Marvel is also preparing to shoot several new movies as well as more series for the Disney streaming platform.
On the TV front, Ms. Marvel is already shooting in Atlanta, while production on both She-Hulk and Moon Knight beginning in March. A THR source said that Marvel head Kevin Feige and his team are paying especially close attention to the Disney+ offerings, explaining, "The series are the priority. Ramping them up takes a lot of focus. The movie machinery is well established.”
Two films are already shooting as well: the Sony co-production Spider-Man 3 (working title) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Thor: Love and Thunder will begin filming in January, while Ant-Man 2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Captain Marvel 2 are all on deck.
Of course, none of those projects have lost their lead actor in such a profoundly heartbreaking way, which may make Black Panther 2 Marvel's most challenging and emotional project yet as the studio heads into Phase 4.