With the untimely passing of Chadwick Boseman, the state of the Black Panther franchise was thrown into chaos. Marvel decided maybe too hastily to announce they would never recast Black Panther out of respect of what Boseman was to the role. I wonder if, in hindsight, they feel like that was a rash decision.
With all the multiverse things that are going on, it appears they would have had a way to recast the character of Black Panther in a respectful manner.
It isn’t unusual for Marvel to recast major characters in the MCU ask Ed Norton and Terrance Howard. The MCU has established there are multiple versions of characters now, and in a week, we might be seeing three different Spider-Men (maybe more).
People would understand if they went back on their word to recast now that some time has passed, and they might have no choice if this report from Giant Freakin Robot is correct and Letitia Wright, aka Shuri from Black Panther, is done with MCU. She was the logical replacement for Boseman, and they had big things for her future in the MCU, but now it looks like that might be over.
Actress Letitia Wright has publicly faced many obstacles in 2021. There have been controversies surrounding a social media post she made (and later deleted) about COVID-19 vaccinations. Then, in August 2021, she suffered an injury on the set of Black Panther 2. That injury was at first believed to be minor, but was recently revealed to have caused her ongoing health issues. So much so that currently, Black Panther 2’s production has been put on hold until 2022 while she recovers. This has led to many questions surrounding her future as Shuri. Now, the actress herself may have one. Our trusted and proven inside source has told us Letitia Wright allegedly doesn’t want to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe because she is unwilling to get the vaccine.
This information comes to Giant Freakin Robot from a source that has proven to be in the know with past exclusive reports that are now confirmed. And it makes sense that if Letitia Wright is unvaccinated, she wouldn’t want to return to work for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the actress herself hasn’t publicly disclosed her vaccination status, both The Hollywood Reporter and Newsweek have heard from their sources that she is unvaccinated. During the summer of 2021, Disney issued a mandate for COVID-19 vaccinations on their sets. That mandate reportedly didn’t apply to Black Panther 2, as it was already underway, but will for future Marvel Cinematic Universe productions. If Letitia Wright is unvaccinated and doesn’t want to change that, she may be frustrated and ready to be done with Marvel/Disney.
At this point, our source shared that Letitia Wright is unwilling to get the vaccine and wants to leave the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but they didn’t say she’s made any definite steps in that direction, like officially quitting.
It seems like the backup plan, for now, is to have M’Baku (played by Winston Duke) as the new Black Panther, but who knows how this movie’s finished product will look, especially if Wright doesn’t come back to the set. Wright, herself could be recast and I have long said that with Secret Invasion coming that the MCU is going to retcon some storylines and characters. What if they made T’Challa and Shuri Skulls? This could pave the way for new actors to come in and play the parts but not mess up the continuity of the MCU or be disrespectful to Chadwick Boseman’s legacy.
The other main issue Wright would have is travel. She won’t be allowed into the states to work on Black Panther if she isn’t vaccinated, so even if she did want to come back to work, she can’t unless she gets the shot, which at the moment she has publicly stated by the multiple conspiracy theories she has posted she isn’t comfortable doing. Here is a breakdown via Screenrant.
Current travel rules demand non-US citizens be vaccinated before entering the country. That guidance only came into effect November 8, and will likely remain in place for the foreseeable future. Letitia Wright is confirmed by her representatives as presently residing in London, and the actress does not hold US citizenship. Assuming Wright is not vaccinated (and if her YouTube viewing habits are anything to go by, she most likely isn’t), she would not meet the requirements for travelling to the US and filming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in Atlanta. Should these travel arrangements remain effective come early 2022 (when Letitia Wright is expected to return after her injury), a tricky scenario could arise whereby the actress either gets vaccinated and flies to the US, or Black Panther 2 faces further delays due to Wright’s unavailability.
Flip the page for more about this explosive rumor, Wright speaking out on vaccine and her injury on set.