Black Panther 2 may not begin filming until 2021, says Martin Freeman. T'Challa made his MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War and is now firmly established as one of the franchise's key characters moving forward. The first Black Panther standalone film, released last year, is widely considered one of Marvel's greatest achievements. Not only did it shatter box office records en route to a $1.3 billion worldwide haul, it became the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Needless to say, a sequel was quickly put into development.
Ryan Coogler is returning to write and direct Black Panther 2, but it's going to be some time before fans see what he has in store. Last month during San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel unveiled their full Phase 4 slate, which did not include Black Panther 2. Kevin Feige confirmed the film is definitely in the works, but it's still in the earliest stages of pre-production. So, it likely won't be in front of the cameras any time soon.
In an interview with Uproxx, Freeman, who recently said he'd reprise Everett Ross in Black Panther 2, provided a small update on the sequel's progress. Based on what he's been told, the actor envisions production commencing at some point in 2021:
The last I heard, we won’t be doing it next year. So, it might be 2021 when we’re making the next Black Panther. That’s all I know.
This timetable makes sense considering Marvel's current lineup. Since Black Panther 2 isn't releasing in 2021, there's no reason for it to commence production next year. If filming does start in 2021, that would put Black Panther 2 on track for a 2022 premiere. Many people have pointed to the February 2022 date Marvel's secured as the most likely landing spot for the sequel. Theoretically, this would make it the first installment of the MCU's Phase 5. At Comic-Con, Feige stated the five movies and five Disney+ TV shows releasing between 2020 and 2021 constitute the full Phase 4. Other Phase 5 projects include the Blade reboot starring Mahershala Ali, James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy 3, and Captain Marvel 2.
Coogler only recently sat down to work on his Black Panther 2 outline, so he's still in the process of ironing out the story he wants to tell. He's aware of the immense pressure to deliver another standout installment (particularly after the unprecedented success of the first movie), but Coogler is approaching it like any other project and focus on the task at hand. It's nice to see Marvel is willing to give Coogler all the time he needs to craft something that could live up to the high bar set by Black Panther. After the first film's critical praise and commercial performance, it would have been easy to fast track Black Panther 2 to strike when the iron was burning hot. But Marvel knows better than to rush Coogler, who's more than earned the luxury of time for his next MCU venture.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021