Despite the sudden loss of franchise star Chadwick Boseman earlier this year, Marvel Studios is reportedly still moving forward with the highly anticipated Black Panther 2. A new report from THR today reveals that the studio has pushed back the start of their filming for the sequel, aiming for a July 2021 start date, but also that they've brought in some talent to serve as the film's antagonist. Narcos: Mexico star and Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta has been tapped to play one of the antagonists in the film. He joins a cast that includes Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke and Angela Bassett who will all return for the new film.
The ever tight-lipped Marvel Studios hasn't confirmed or commented on what villains will appear in the movie, and no rumors or leaks have followed either. An ever present fan theory for the movie is that Namor the Sub-Mariner would make a great adversary for Black Panther in the film, having previously sparred multiple times against each other in the pages of Marvel comics. It was previously rumored that Atlantis will make its MCU debut in Marvel's The Eternals, perhaps setting up his arrival in Black Panther 2 later. That coupled with a report that Marvel Studios had regained control of the Atlantean King's screen rights remains unconfirmed. Though it's unclear who Huerta will be playing in the film, fans will no doubt begin to speculate
One thing we do know about Marvel's plans for Black Panther 2 is that they won't be using a CGI recreation of Chadwick Boseman for the role. Though the studio has not made it clear what they intend to do with the part of King T'Challa, whether that be re-cast or write him out of the movie, the studio has made it clear they're not going to recreate him digitally.
"No. There's only one Chadwick, and he's not with us," Marvel Studios EVP Victoria Alonso recently told Clarin. "Our king, unfortunately, has died in real life, not just in fiction, and we are taking a little time to see how we return to history and what we do to honor this chapter of what has happened to us that was so unexpected, so painful, so terrible, really."
Alonso added, "Because Chadwick was not only a wonder ... but it also seems to me that as a character what he did elevated us as a company, and has left his moment in history. I know that sometimes two months go by or three months go by in production and one says, already, it was a long time. But it is not a long time, we have to think carefully about what we are going to do, and how, and think about how we are going to honor the franchise."
Black Panther 2 is currently scheduled for a May 6, 2022 release.