Letitia Wright 'Came Back Stronger' From Her Injury On The Set Of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

It's no secret that "Black Panther" set an incredibly high bar after its incredible success in 2018. The film was a game-changer for Black representation on screen, and its shocking success on the awards circuit all but confirmed that superhero films could work on the prestige level. Still, it set a daunting precedent for any similar films that looked to follow it, including its eventual sequel, "Wakanda Forever."

Measuring up to such a cultural touchstone would have been difficult in any circumstances. But with star Chadwick Boseman's tragic passing in 2020, crew and cast alike had to drastically change their approach to a sequel. Honoring Boseman's legacy was a priority on the "Wakanda Forever" set, not in the least for Letitia Wright, who plays Shuri, sister to Boseman's late king T'Challa. "I always carried him in every scene," Wright recently told Entertainment Weekly. "I always would ask, 'Bro, what do you think?' and just try to keep a spiritual connection. He meant everything to me, and he's the reason why I'm here. He picked me to be his sister, so I couldn't have done this journey without him."

Wright also spoke to Empire about the unique blessing that "Wakanda Forever" presented: it was an opportunity to mourn, grieve, and eventually heal. That healing was notably stalled, however, when Wright sustained injuries on the "Wakanda Forever" set, pushing production back months. It took some work to get back in fighting shape, but in the process, Wright managed to come back stronger than she was before.

'I was determined to not let that limit me'

After Wright was hospitalized for a shoulder fracture and concussion, pressing forward suddenly felt more difficult than ever before. Back home in London, Wright surrounded herself with family and friends. Coogler himself was also "incredibly supportive," but at the end of the day, Wright had to find the strength within herself to heal — not just her body, but her spirit too:

"It was a moment for me to gain courage that I never had before and I didn't know I had. You know when you go through situations, you're like, 'I didn't know I had this much strength in me until I went through it'? That was my experience. I got the healing that I needed, and I went back on set, and I was determined to not let that limit me. I felt like, 'Oh my goodness, what if I can't do the things that I'm used to doing?' But by God's grace, I made it through, and I came back stronger."

With that particular trial now in the rearview, and "Wakanda Forever" poised to make its premiere, Wright is excited to share the new Shuri with fans the world over. "I have this feeling of pride when a young woman comes up to me and says, "Hey, you made me feel smart in school, and you made me feel like I can be in technology alongside a man, and I feel empowered.' That has changed my life forever."

"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" hits theaters on November 11, 2022.