There’s a Chadwick Boseman-sized hole on the set of “Black Panther 2.”
Boseman is best remembered for his iconic role as King T’Challa in the 2018 theatrical debut of the first black superhero. Following his untimely death in August 2020, fans have campaigned for his character not to be recast in the sequel, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” out later this year.
“Black Panther” cast member Martin Freeman, who will reprise his role as the superhero’s government agency ally Everett K. Ross, discussed what it was like to film the second film without the “Marshall” star.
In a new interview, Freeman, 50, told Collider that coming back to the set “was strange.”
“On the one hand, you’re making the film that you’re there to make, and there are scores and scores of people on set, joined in this endeavor to make the film,” the “Love, Actually” star added. “But there’s also no question that, at the heart of it, there’s quite a gap now, and you felt it.”
He continued, “With full respect to Ryan Coogler and everybody else, who’s sweating and bleeding to get this thing done properly, it was fun. It was enjoyable. I was in and out of it quite quickly.”
Freeman expressed gratitude for the “fun character” he played, then digressed, “But it was odd. Of course, it was odd with Chadwick [Boseman] not being there.”
In “Black Panther,” Freeman’s Ross teams with the King of Wakanda and warrior Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) to combat his spiteful cousin, Erik “Killmonger” Stevens (Michael B. Jordan).
The “Sherlock” actor continued, “There’s no way around that. I think everyone would find it pretty strange and sad, but at the same time, life things don’t just end.”
“When he passed, I thought, ‘OK, well maybe there just won’t be another one.’ But there are still other stories to tell within that world and other great characters. I think, and I hope, that we’ve made a good film. I trust Ryan Coogler a lot,” he concluded.
Alongside Nyong’o and Freeman, Angela Bassett (Queen Mother, Ramonda), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Daniel Kaluuya (W’Kabi), Winston Duke (M’Baku) and Letitia Wright (Shuri) will also be returning for the sequel.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is set to premiere Nov. 11.