After a turbulent shoot that stretched all the way from June 2021 to last March, Marvel is currently putting the finishing touches Black Panther: Wakanda Forever before it hits theaters this fall. The sequel’s production was famously marred by injuries sustained by its rumored new headliner, Letitia Wright. But one thing that remained constant was the undercurrent of sadness brought on by the absence of the original Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman, who passed away in 2020 after a four-year battle with cancer. Martin Freeman reflects.
Now that filming has wrapped, Martin Freeman (who returns as CIA agent Everett Ross) can properly reflect on the experience. In a new interview with Collider, Freeman confessed that Boseman was never far from the cast and crew’s thoughts. Regardless, he put his faith in director Ryan Coogler to do right by the actor’s legacy.
“It was strange, that side of it,” admitted Freeman. “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. But there’s also no question that, at the heart of it, there’s quite a gap now, and you felt it. 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, I think. But I like playing Everett Ross. He’s a very fun character to play. He’s nicely simpatico for the story [and] he’s a good guy.”
“But it was odd,” continued Freeman. “Of course, it was odd with Chadwick not being there. 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. It’s not like, ‘Well, that’s that’s happened, so we just all have to go off and never do it again.’ But it was odd. When he passed, I thought, ‘Okay, 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.”
Additionally, Freeman confirmed that Wakanda Forever officially fulfills his three-picture contract with Marvel Studios. But his character has become so entrenched in the world of Wakanda that it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if Ross showed up in Coogler’s planned spinoff series on Disney+. Freeman insisted that Marvel hasn’t contacted him about reprising his role on the show. However, it sounds like he’s open to the idea of returning.
“I love being surprised and being contacted and having them go, ‘Do you wanna come and do this thing?’” added Freeman. “It’s just fun. It’s a nice world to dip your toe in and to be able to have the freedom to come in and out, which is perfect for me. I don’t love being on the same thing, all the time. I don’t love that. I’m not saying anything particularly surprising there. I think people know that I like going and having an adventure over there, and then coming back, and then going over there and doing that. That feels very, very lucky to me, that I get to do that.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will hit theaters on November 11.
Would you like to see Ross return for Disney+’s Wakanda series? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1
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