Black Panther 2, otherwise formally known as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, has already been delayed twice. The upcoming Black Panther sequel was originally scheduled for May 6, 2022, before being pushed back to July 8, 2022. Most recently, the film was part of a series of MCU and Disney films that were delayed, with its most recent premiere date set to November 11, 2022. However, if the filming keeps on hitting snags, Marvel Studios and Disney might have no choice but to delay the film's premiere again.
Is Letitia Wright's stance against the COVID-19 vaccine going to delay the Black Panther sequel?
Letitia Wright, who portrays Shuri, the crown princess of Wakanda and the sister of Prince T'Challa, has made her opinion on the COVID-19 vaccine very clear in the past. It appears that the ongoing filming schedule of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hasn't changed her mind. Originally, the MCU film had already started earlier this year. However, the production faced delays after Wright sustained a work-related injury in late August. Wright had to fly back to London to recover while the rest of the cast and crew continued filming in Atlanta. Unfortunately, as of last week, director Ryan Coogler confirmed that they'd already shot all the footage that they can without Wright.
The COVID-19 vaccine mandate imposed by several production companies in Hollywood is a divisive topic. Most recently, there were reports that Ice Cube turned down a $9 million paycheck because he didn't want to get vaccinated. However, because Wright is part of the movie's principal cast, she is one of the first affected by the said mandate. If she chooses to remain unvaccinated, the film's production will not be able to progress.
THR reports that Wright's refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19 might force her to stay in London. Just last November 8, the Center for Disease Control set new guidelines that required all non-immigrant and non-citizen air travelers to the United States to provide proof of vaccination before they can get on board a plane. Because Wright is a British citizen, she might find it difficult to return to Atlanta in 2022 to resume filming.
Wright's predicament creates a unique situation for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and the artist. Wright plays a prominent role in the movie. There were even reports that she'll take on the lead role following Chadwick Boseman's passing. Because of her importance in the movie, we don't think that Marvel Studios will just let her go. This leaves Marvel Studios two choices that don't include firing Wright: move production to somewhere else or convince Wright to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
It will be interesting to see what will happen to the production of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever based on the current events.