In the singular MCU standout The Black Panther, Martin Freeman’s CIA agent Everett Ross helps save the Wakanda kingdom, after being near-mortally wounded by Erik Killmonger and being nursed back to health by Princess Shuri. His character also had to win the trust of Chadwick Boseman, the actor who played the majestic and regal T’Challa in Black Panther and died in 2020 after a battle with colon cancer.
“I can, I can say that I’m going to be in the next Black Panther but I don’t know in what capacity. I’m speaking to Ryan Coogler in the next few days to find out,” says Freeman. “I knew I was always going to be in two Black Panthers. I knew I was always going to do it, but I’m not exactly sure. I don’t know with the passing of Chad, what that’s gonna look like. I have no idea.”
The MCU corner of the Internet has been blowing up with rumors of what’s ahead in the sequel, be it an exploration of Wakanda, or a deep dive into its key character. What we do know is that Black Panther 2 is currently slated for July 8, 2022 and is also being written and directed by Ryan Coogler. Don’t expect any tacky or tone-deaf posthumous appearances from Boseman, however. Per Marvel Studios, Boseman’s role won’t be recast, nor will the studio use a digital double to resurrect T’Challa.
Freeman, who’s starring in the FX series Breeders, has been in some heavy-duty fan favorite projects, including the Sherlock Holmes series opposite Benedict Cumberbatch and the Lord of the Rings franchise. But to him, his experience working with Boseman holds pride of place.
“His work ethic and his work rate was just phenomenal because not only was he was leading a massive film. And his pre- and post-day job was basically being a professional athlete, training as much as a professional athlete would. I loved doing the scenes with him. I loved working with him. He was quick to laugh, he enjoyed laughter. He enjoyed the process of collaboration. He wore that mantle well, of what he was helping bring to the world,” says Freeman. “I was very fond of him. He was a lovely man. And apart from anything else, his family lost a lovely man. He was one of the good ones.”