In 2020, Letitia Wright made news with her Twitter activity involving the cancellation of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Whether it was out of respect for the late Chadwick Boseman or from a personal standpoint, the move still sparked outrage among Marvel’s fandom and its management at Disney. Although no formal statements were made, the actress later resigned to an online hiatus resulting in the controversy quietly blowing over soon after.
Letitia Wright’s Significance as Shuri in the MCU
Letitia Wright first rose to global recognition with her role as Shuri, Princess of Wakanda and sister to King T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman. The two had shared a dynamic performance in the first film, with her portrayal of Shuri becoming unilaterally loved, praised, and considered indispensable for her wit, humor, warfare experience, and technological genius. Her presence in the film thus becomes of paramount importance in the aftermath of Boseman’s passing, and not just from the character’s standpoint.
Shuri has time and again proved herself capable in behind-the-scenes politics and on the battlefield. So for Letitia Wright to take on a lead role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is only natural. This fact also comes paired with the speculation of the next Black Panther, which is currently being debated to be either Nakia, Okoye, or Shuri. Considering the latter bore the mantle and its responsibility in the comics, it will not come as a surprise to see Letitia Wright in the dark Vibranium armor.
Letitia Wright Recounts Her Time in Black Panther 2
The Black Panther actress had become the subject of mass scrutiny in 2020 after back-to-back controversial events. Besides liking and retweeting a post advocating the cancellation of the Black Panther sequel, Wright also became an anti-vaccine campaigner which had caused massive problems on Marvel’s part. Her essential role in Marvel had helped retain her position among the fandom, but Wright’s vocal support of anti-vax campaigns still remained a point of caution in the public forum.
Also read: “I feel like it’s a love letter to him”: Letitia Wright Dedicated Every Scene in Black Panther 2 to Chadwick Boseman, Fans Believe She’s Trying to Cover Up Her Controversial Stance That Halted Filming For Months
But despite her stand against vaccination, the initial hesitance against Black Panther 2 was gradually scrubbed away when the actress resumed her role as the Princess of Wakanda. Wright claims,
“Shuri’s journey has allowed me to grieve, to cry, to laugh, and to gain strength that I never thought I could ever have. Trials and tribulations make you who you are. You either fold or you get up and go again. I feel like Shuri kept looking at me every day, asking me if I was gonna fold or go again. And I just kept going until healing started to happen for me.”
The actress also broke down, along with her co-stars, during the comic-con press event of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever as the tragedy of Boseman’s passing was felt in every nerve of the fandom for the past two years. The Phase 4 film serves as a tribute and a celebration of the actor’s legacy, both as T’Challa and as Chadwick Boseman.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premieres on 11 November 2022.