There is a hole the size of Chadwick Boseman on the set of Black Panther 2.
Boseman is best remembered for his iconic role as King T’Challa in the 2018 cinematic debut of history’s first black superhero. Following his untimely death in August 2020, fans have lobbied for his character not to be recast in the sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, out later this year.
Black Panther actor Martin Freeman, who will reprise his role as superhero government agency ally Everett K. Ross, spoke about what it was like shooting the second film without the “Marshall” star.
In a new interview, Freeman, 50, told Collider it was “weird” coming back to the set.
“On the one hand you’re making the movie that you’re supposed to be making and there are tons of people on set who are involved in that effort to make the movie,” added the Love Actually star. “But there’s also no question that there’s quite a gap at the core now, and you’ve felt it.”
He continued, “With all due respect to Ryan Coogler and everyone else who sweats and bleeds to get this thing right, it was fun. It was pleasant. I was in and out pretty quick.”
Freeman expressed his gratitude for the “fun character” he played, then digressed, “But it was weird. Of course it was weird with Chadwick [Boseman] not be there.”
In Black Panther, Freeman’s steed joins forces with the King of Wakanda and the warrior Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) to battle his evil cousin, Erik “Killmonger” Stevens (Michael B. Jordan).
The Sherlock actor continued: “There’s no getting around it. I think everyone would find it quite strange and sad, but at the same time things in life don’t end easy.”
“When he died, I thought, ‘Okay, maybe there just won’t be another one.’ But there are other stories in this world and other great characters to tell. I think and I hope we made a good film. I have a lot of trust in Ryan Coogler,” he concluded.
In addition to Nyong’o and Freeman, Angela Bassett (Queen Mother, Ramonda), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Daniel Kaluuya (W’Kabi), Winston Duke (M’Baku) and Letitia Wright (Suri) will also return for the sequel.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to premiere on November 11, 2022.