Angela Bassett Says There Have Been '5 Incarnations' of a Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Script
While speaking with Entertainment Tonight Wednesday, the 62-year-old actress opened up about what's been going on the behind the scenes of the sequel to 2018's Black Panther, which began filming late last month.
"I don't know what it's going to look like at all," Bassett, who stars as Queen Ramonda, said of her return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. "There have been about five incarnations of the script and I hear another one's coming."
"Of course, with our dear king [Chadwick Boseman] going on to glory, a lot of things had to be shifted and changed," she continued. "So thankfully, [director] Ryan [Coogler] and [writer] Joe Robert Cole, they're just such masterful storytellers that they've found a way into this world and hopefully it will be satisfying, I think, for the fans and it will be honorable of our Chad."
"We love our king," Bassett added of the actor, who died last year at age 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed to Variety on June 29 that production on the Black Panther sequel was officially underway, with filming beginning that very day at Pinewood Studios in Atlanta.
Feige, 48, told the outlet that starting production on the film is "clearly very emotional without" Boseman.
"But everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans," he said. "We're going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud."
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Marvel Studios revealed the name of the sequel (along with several other new movies) with a clip celebrating the studio's films in May.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a fitting title for the film in the works as the most popular phrase from the franchise, famously said by the late Boseman's King T'Challa as a respectful salute and rallying cry before heading into battle.
During Disney's Investor Day in December, Feige announced that in Boseman's honor, his titular role as the Wakandan superhero would not be recast. Instead, the latest installment "will explore the world of Wakanda & the rich characters introduced in the first film," Disney said in a statement.
RELATED VIDEO: Angela Bassett Says Chadwick Boseman Was 'Incredible': We Should 'Take a Page Out of His Book'
Bassett previously spoke about Boseman's legacy while chatting with PEOPLE (the TV Show!) in October. There, the Gunpowder Milkshake star told PEOPLE that the late actor's "spirit remains with us."
"[He was] truly, truly one of the most incredible individuals that I have ever had the opportunity to meet and work with," she said. "He was diligent, professional, kind — he was there."
Bassett added that he had "a ready laugh" and worked "diligently" on his character of T'Challa, who she described as "his ministry."
"If we could just take a page out of his book, all of us would be even greater," she said at the time.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will hit theaters on July 8, 2022.