2020 is the first year since 2009 that a Marvel film has not released, and its bold launch into TV programming on Disney+ has been routinely delayed. However, according to a report from THR, the studio is gearing up for a dramatic relaunch of its production efforts in 2021, including pushing forward with Black Panther 2 after delays to its production were caused by the sudden death of star Chadwick Boseman. The film will now get underway in July in Atlanta. The report also notes the new addition of Guardians of the Galaxy 3 shooting at the end of 2021 sometime.
Black Panther 2 is still much of a mystery with Marvel having not confirmed how it will be handling Boseman’s death, though it has said that he will not be CGIed into the film like Carrie Fisher was into Rogue One. Director Ryan Coogler is helming the film again. Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, and Angela Bassett are all expected to return. Wright’s character, Shuri, may play a bigger role in the film. There’s also reporting that Narcos: Mexico star Tenoch Huerta is in consideration to play one of the film’s villains.
The film is obviously a big deal for Marvel as Black Panther is one of the universe’s cornerstone films and by far its most critically renowned, pulling in a Best Picture nomination, but the major focus is getting its much-delayed streaming efforts up and running. The Marvel cinematic arm is a well-oiled machine, but its TV efforts are all brand new.
“The series are the priority,” a source told THR. “Ramping them up takes a lot of focus. The movie machinery is well established.”
While WandaVision is all set to premiere in January, the studio is working to get The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki finished with production after COVID-19 halted their filming efforts. The studio also has She-Hulk and Moon Knight beginning production in March. That could mean they have four shows in production at once alongside the plethora of films in production or pre-production. The studio is working on its Blade reboot and has confirmed Deadpool 3 is happening while Peyton Reed will be returning next year to direct a new Ant-Man as well.
All of this, of course, depends upon the curbing of COVID-19. If Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and Eternals don’t get to land next year and productions have to shut down again, then it will once again all be up in the air. However, with reports of vaccines coming in, Marvel seems to be bullish on its ability to ramp activity back up and deliver a glut of new content in 2021 and beyond. What shape Black Panther 2 takes will be of particular interest.