Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has officially begun production, much to the excitement of fans of the beloved Marvel story. The sequel to 2018’s Black Panther will take an alternative approach to the fabled city of Wakanda in the wake of the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, the “Black Panther” himself, last year. Boseman’s legacy will be preserved in the upcoming sequel as his character will not be recasted, though other members of the original cast are set to return.

Production started at the Atlanta Pinewoods Studios on Tuesday, according to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. Feige admitted that the absence of Boseman is “very emotional,” Variety reports, though goes on to explain how the sequel will honor the late actor: “Everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans. We’re going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud.”

Chadwick Boseman

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

A tweet by parent company Disney last December noted that the sequel, directed by Black Panther’s Ryan Coogler, will stray away from Boseman’s character and instead “explore the world of Wakanda and the rich characters introduced in the first film.” 

In an interview with Deadline in January, Feige pointed towards this new direction: “Wakanda is a place to further explore with characters and different subcultures. This was always and initially the primary focus of the next story.”

The sequel will be accompanied by a Black Panther spinoff series on Disney+, though the details and release date aren’t confirmed. 

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will release on July 8th, 2022. Are you excited to see where the series goes?