Black Panther Cinematographer Says She's Unlikely to Return for Sequel

Among the many accolades given to Black Panther at the Academy Awards was one that broke a glass ceiling. The film's cinematographer Rachel Morrison was nominated for the Best Cinematography Oscar, making her the first woman ever to be nominated in that category. This, along with her extensive body of work that also includes Fruitvale Station and Mudbound, has made her an in demand filmmaker. Morrison was in the midst of her directorial debut Flint Strong when the coronavirus pandemic shut the production down, and as a result of delays in restarting she may not be able to return for the planned sequel to Black Panther.

“I was supposed to deliver my movie and then a few months later hop on to ‘Black Panther 2,’” Morrison said in an interview with The Playlist. “Now, there might be some issue of those overlapping. Ryan and I talk regularly. He called me up cause he had a dream a few ago that he was three weeks into production and this male DP comes out holding a camera and he’s like, ‘That’s not my DP. Where the f*** is Rachel?’”

She continued, “If we had gone back in September (on Flint Strong), I think we could make it, but now it’s a bit of a moment of truth for everyone to realize if my movie is definitely going back in January that I probably won’t be able to do ‘Panther,’ which is devastating to me. If we can’t go back in January and we get pushed into fall of next year, maybe I can do ‘Panther.’”

It's unclear at this point which of the cases Morrison outlined will end up happening, as much of Hollywood remains in "Wait and see" mode with regard to productions resuming.

Little is actually known about the Black Panther sequel at this point other than confirmation that Ryan Coogler will return to write and direct the film. The follow-up is also scheduled to be released on May 6, 2022, which means a production start in the first part of next year is very likely, assuming no COVID related delays occur.

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“When it comes to making a sequel, I’ve never done it before, a sequel to something that I’ve directed myself,” Coogler previously told Indiewire. “So I think there’s gonna be a lot of pressure there, but what we’re going to try to do is just focus on the work, like we always do. Really try to go step by step and try to quiet everything else around us, really focus on trying to make something that has some type of meaning.”

Chadwick Boseman will no doubt reprise the titular role in the sequel which is also expected to see the return of Danai Gurira's Okoye, Letitia Wright's Shuri, and Angela Bassett's Ramonda.