Letitia Wright Returns to Wakanda

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After five months away, Letitia Wright has returned to the set of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Polygon confirmed on Friday. The actress fractured her shoulder performing a stunt while the production was on location in Boston in August. She had been convalescing in London. Director Ryan Coogler and company continued shooting as long as they could without her at Marvel’s Atlanta studio but eventually suspended operations in November.

“We’re on schedule,” Wright’s representatives said, addressing her return.

Few tentpoles are more anticipated than the Black Panther sequel. The 2018 film, the first superhero movie to earn a best picture Academy Award nomination (some sneaky people like to also cite Birdman, but we say that does not count), grossed $1.34 billion worldwide and remains an international sensation.

The August 2020 death of Chadwick Boseman, who played King T’Challa of Wakanda, necessitated a significant rewrite of the sequel. Marvel majordomo Kevin Feige was unaware of Boseman’s illness before the day of his death. Though the filmmakers announced that they would not recast Boseman’s role, other aspects of the film’s plot are still held tight to Marvel’s vest. It is rumored that Wright’s character, T’Challa’s sister Shuri, will have a prominent place in the film.

In late 2020, Wright was at the center of a controversy surrounding messages she made on social media concerning coronavirus vaccines. During the production hiatus, some in the Marvel fandom even suggested that she should be dropped from the film, assuming that her alleged resistance to getting vaccinated was the true reason for the halt. (There is no evidence to suggest this is accurate, and Wright denied the charge that she had made anti-vaccine comments on the set.) Wright’s current vaccination status is unknown.

Wright’s agent told The Hollywood Reporter, “she always intended to return but just needed to wait until she had fully recovered.”

The release date for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is still set for November 11 of this year. Wright will next be seen opposite Armie Hammer in the new adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile, which was filmed in 2019.

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