Martin Freeman Says He Felt 'Quite a Gap' Filming 'Black Panther' Sequel Without Chadwick Boseman

Despite Chadwick Boseman's absence, Martin Freeman says, "I think, and I hope, that we've made a good film" in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, out Nov. 11

Chadwick Boseman and Martin Freeman
Chadwick Boseman (L); Martin Freeman. Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty, Kate Green/Getty

Filming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was a "strange" experience without Chadwick Boseman, according to Martin Freeman.

In a recent interview with Collider, the 50-year-old actor shared that despite the "scores and scores of people on set, joined in this endeavor to make" the sequel to 2018's Black Panther, "there's also no question that, at the heart of it, there's quite a gap now, and you felt it."

Boseman, who played the titular Black Panther/T'Challa, died in August 2020 at age 43 after a private, four-year battle with colon cancer.

During a previous Disney's Investor Day, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced that in honor of Boseman, his role as the Wakandan superhero would not be recast.

Instead, the film "will explore the world of Wakanda and the rich characters introduced in the first film," Feige said.

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Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER Black Panther/T'Challa
Chadwick Boseman as King T'Challa in Black Panther (2018). Marvel

Freeman, who reprises his role as CIA agent Everett K. Ross, said in his interview with Collider that making the sequel was "fun" and "enjoyable," and he has "full respect [for director/co-writer] Ryan Coogler and everybody else, who's sweating and bleeding to get this thing done properly."

"But it was odd," he admitted. "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.' "

When Boseman died, Freeman said, "I thought, 'Okay, well, maybe there just won't be another [movie].' "

"But there are still other stories to tell within that world and other great characters," he noted. "I think, and I hope, that we've made a good film. I trust Ryan Coogler a lot."

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During a March appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Angela Bassett opened up about the emotional experience of filming without Boseman and reflected on her former costar's legacy. (In the original Bassett, 63, played Ramonda, the Queen Mother of Wakanda.)

"He was such an example. Such a leader, amazing talent, we all know that. Big heart, great intellect, and we hope to just raise his standard," the Oscar nominee told host Ellen DeGeneres.

Of the film itself, Bassett teased, "It is going to be amazing. It is going to top [the original]."

In addition to Bassett, the sequel will see the return of original stars Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong'o, Florence Kasumba and Letitia Wright.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is in theaters Nov. 11.

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