EXCLUSIVE: Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever officially began its production hiatus for the remainder of 2021 today as it allows star Letitia Wright additional time to recuperate from an on-set injury earlier this year.
This morning, cast and crew of the sequel received a note direct from Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito and Nate Moore acknowledging the pause. It confirms that production will resume in January with Wright on board but indicates that her injuries, which included a fractured shoulder and a concussion, were more serious than initially realized. Deadline first reported the accident, which happened in August during a stunt on set in Boston.
It’s widely assumed that Wright’s character Shuri will take on a more prominent role in the sequel, and the note makes clear that there’s only so much shooting that can take place without one of the film’s stars. Wakanda Forever remains one of the most anticipated films on the studio’s 2022 release calendar, and, during a shift of several Marvel Studios titles, Disney recently moved its release date from July 8 to November 11, 2022, where it’s expected to remain. Sources say Wright also sent her own video message to the cast and crew thanking them for their support.
Here is the note sent to the cast and crew today with full details from Feige, Moore and D’Esposito:
As we wind down for the holidays, we wanted to send a note of thanks and appreciation for the hard work of our entire cast and crew, as well as an update on timing. First and foremost, this project is exceptional and something we know audiences are eager to see. We could not be any more excited to complete this film and share it with the world next year. Thank you for everything you’ve done to get us to this place.
Unfortunately, we’ve not gotten here without a few setbacks. Running a production of this scale in the midst of a pandemic is not an easy task, and you have remained diligent and professional throughout. In addition, as you are all aware, Letitia had a frightening accident on our set during a stunt back in August. It was a reminder of the importance of safety at all times in our work, which we know you understand and are committed to. What we had initially thought were minor injuries turned out to be much more serious with Letitia suffering a critical shoulder fracture, and a concussion with severe side effects. It has been a painful process and Letitia has been home recovering with her doctors and the support of family.
We’ve adjusted our production schedule so she has the time she needs to heal, but there’s only so much we can do without Shuri! We also want to thank Letitia for everything she’s doing to get back to the set – we know how much she loves this role, how tough it’s been for her to be away, and how hard she’s working to recover as quickly as she safely can. We are eagerly awaiting her return and we know we will all come back stronger together.
Please be on the lookout for more information on your specific return-to-work date. As of now, we’re on schedule to resume filming – with Letitia – in January 2022. We are all focused on finishing the movie with excellence, honoring the memory of our dear brother Chadwick in the process. We are thrilled to share Black Panther: Wakanda Forever with the world, confident that the challenges that we have overcome together as a team will make the film even more impactful. Please take care of yourselves and enjoy the holidays.
-Kevin, Louis & Nate