From the moment fans thought she would take on a larger role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Letitia Wright has been surrounded by controversy.
Following the death of Chadwick Boseman, there were a lot of questions about what character would take on the heroic mantle in the sequel. Since Shuri becomes Black Panther in the comics, that seemed like the most logical choice.
However, the actress was injured on-set and production was halted so she could heal at home in London.
Since then the internet has been full of rumors that she wouldn’t return to the film, due to her reported anti-vaccine ideals.
The Hollywood Reporter Heat Vision newsletter reports, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will resume production in January, with Wright returning as well.
“Letitia has been recovering in London since September from injuries sustained on the set of Black Panther 2 and is looking forward to returning to work early 2022,” a representative for the actor said in a statement in November.
Following Wright’s injury, Marvel Studios execs Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito and Nate Moore sent out a memo to the crew in November detailing the production hiatus.
“Running a production of this scale in the midst of a pandemic is not an easy task, and you have remained diligent and professional throughout,” Feige, D’Esposito and Moore wrote in the memo. “In addition, as you are all aware, Letitia had a frightening accident on our set during a stunt back in August. It was a reminder of the importance of safety at all times in our work, which we know you understand and are committed to. What we had initially thought were minor injuries turned out to be much more serious with Letitia suffering a critical shoulder fracture, and a concussion with severe side effects. It has been a painful process and Letitia has been home recovering with her doctors and the support of family.”
Rumors about Wright being replaced have dogged production since the actress liked and reposted anti-vaccine social media posts. There have also been rumors of her expressing her opinions on-set as vaccine mandates have gone into effect across the industry.
As for the film, Marvel is being more secretive than usual, as the cast and crew are trying to keep any spoilers about the fate of the Black Panther mantle under wraps.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever starring Wright, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Freeman, Winston Duke and Angela Bassett is scheduled for release Nov. 11, 2022.