A lot of Marvel Cinematic Universe installments hold dear places in the hearts of fans, and Black Panther is no exception. The 2018 film became a cultural phenomenon, and following the passing of franchise star Chadwick Boseman last year, the continuation of the saga's story has taken on a whole other meaning. The upcoming sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is currently filming, and a television spinoff tentatively titled Black Panther: Kingdom of Wakanda is in the works as well. Fans are curious to see what the future holds for some of the ensemble's cast members, even Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis). Despite being killed during the events of Black Panther, Serkis' take on the character has lived on in the animated series What If...?, and in a recent interview with io9, the actor spoke about where the franchise is headed next.
"Wakanda as a world, as a place, as a philosophy is such an extraordinary thing," Serkis explained. "So I'm really excited to see how it evolves, how it unfolds. Obviously, it's very, very sad in the wake of [Chadwick Boseman's] departure, but I'm sure that the story will go some way to memorialize such an extraordinary performance and such an incredible actor and person in that movie."
In the wake of Boseman's passing, it was confirmed that the role of T'Challa / Black Panther would not be recast or digitally recreated, opting instead to explore other stories within the Wakandan mythos.
"So much of the comics and that first movie is the world of Wakanda," Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige explained earlier this year. "Wakanda is a place to further explore with characters and different subcultures. This was always and initially the primary focus of the next story."
"We're not going to have a CG Chadwick and we're not recasting T'Challa," Feige added. "Ryan Coogler is working very hard right now on the script with all the respect and love and genius that he has, which gives us great solace, so it was always about furthering the mythology and the inspiration of Wakanda. There's also the task of honoring and respecting the ongoing learnings and teachings from Chad as well."
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to see the return of Danai Gurira as Okoye, Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia, Winston Duke as M'baku, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, and Martin Freeman as Everett Ross. Dominique Thorne is also set to debut as Riri Williams before appearing in her own Ironheart Disney+ series, and Tenoch Huerta and Michaela Coel have been cast in currently-unknown roles.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is currently set for release on July 8, 2022.