The set of the highly anticipated sequel to Marvel’s Black Panther is clouded in tension, thanks to the anti-vaccine stance of actress Letitia Wright. But a new stipulation set to go into effect could add to it and put her role in jeopardy.
In an article by The Hollywood Reporter on the film industry’s struggles in keeping cast and crew members safe and healthy while the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, a major revelation is that Wright, who is currently in Atlanta, Georgia filming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is still expressing skepticism about vaccines while on set.
The actress has been mired in controversy for her anti-vaccine stance since December 2020 when she shared a now-deleted tweet featuring a self-proclaimed prophet who’d go on to claim among other things that vaccines produced in China against COVID-19 shouldn’t be trusted. The video was removed afterward by YouTube for misinformation. Wright defended her tweet at the time by saying people were trying to cancel her for being a nonconformist but followed that up with another tweet now deleted in which she said, “my intention was not to hurt anyone, my ONLY intention of posting the video was it raised my concerns with what the vaccine contains and what we are putting in our bodies. Nothing else.”
The article reveals that as part of a deal struck between several Hollywood trade unions and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers in the wake of a recent strike, a stipulation that all cast and crew members need to show physical proof of COVID vaccination while on-set will go into effect this month. Wright’s character of Shuri has been widely discussed as the potential successor to take on the role of the Black Panther after the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman last year, with an expanded presence in Wakanda Forever.
It remains to be seen how this recent news will change Wright’s stance, but Marvel isn’t above changing major characters between films with Don Cheadle taking on the role of James “Rhodey” Rhodes in the Iron Man movies from Terence Howard as an example.