Fans of the Black Panther film franchise will have to wait even longer to watch the world of Wakanda expand on the big screen. In a press release published by Marvel Studios on Oct. 8, the upcoming U.S. premiere date for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is slated for November 11, 2022, as opposed to its initial July 8, 2022 theatrical debut.
The new release date makes the Black Panther sequel the final Marvel movie to debut in 2022, following the fourth Thor film Thor: Love and Thunder which has been pushed to the July 8, 2022 date from a projected May 6, 2022.
According to Screen Rant, the delay was made due to production schedules changes. The Academy Award-winning superhero film is set to have an exclusive 45-day theatrical release window once released due to the lawsuit filed by Scarlett Johansson over Black Widow’s release this past summer. The actress and Disney settled the dispute with undisclosed terms and conditions.
Holding the film to a theatrical release for the first month and a half could fair well for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever if the initial film was any indication of the series’ potential. Upon release, the film that introduced Marvel movie fans to Killmonger, Shuri, and Okoye earned $400 million domestically in the first 11 days at the box office.
While fans are excited to watch the fictional world of Wakanda take its own path in the MCU, the sequel without Chadwick Boseman could call for a somber watch. Boseman died in August 2020 after a private battle with colon cancer and both Ryan Coogler, director and writer of the film, and Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige have confirmed the role of T’Challa will not be recast.
“It’s clearly very emotional without Chad,” Feige said. “But everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans. We’re going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud.”
Another talent who helped bring Black Panther to life has also since passed away. Dorothy Steel, the 95-year-old actress who played a tribe leader in the first film died at her home in Detroit on October 15, 2021, according to WSB-TV Atlanta. She began acting later in life and landed the role in the landmark film, her first on the big screen, at age 88.
Lupita Nyong’o, who plays Nakia in the film shared a tribute for Steel on Instagram, remembering their time together on set.
“I will miss Miss Dorothy Steel on the Black Panther 2 set. She was the realest. Wildly witty and very very warm. We all thoroughly enjoyed her presence. She was dedicated to her role in the movie and showed up with delightful enthusiasm,” Nyong’o wrote.
“She often joked that she may not be here for the next day of shooting and it made me laugh uncomfortably. But she understood her own mortality and was not precious about her departure. It seems she lived thoroughly and was very present in the moment. That she started acting in her late 80s is cause for great admiration. Just learning that fact showed me that it is never too late to start, to learn, and to reach to fulfill your potential. May we all be as bold to spend our days going after what we want, doing what we love, being who we want to be, without apology or reservation. And may we never give up on our timeline!”
Production for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever began in June at Pinewood Studios in Atlanta. Nyong’o will be returning in her role as well as Danai Gurira who played Okoye, general of the Dora Milaje. Letitia Wright (Shuri), Winston Duke (M’Baku), and Daniel Kaluuya (W’Kabi) are all also expected to return for the sequel. Dominique Thorne will make her Marvel debut as Riri Williams in the film as well.