‘Black Panther 2’ will stay in Georgia and director/co-writer Ryan Coogler explains why

He plans to fight the voting bill from within the state and not engage in a boycott
Marvel will not recast Chadwick Boseman’s ‘Black Panther’ character for the sequel.

Marvel will not recast Chadwick Boseman’s ‘Black Panther’ character for the sequel.

“Black Panther 2″ will stay in Georgia, said director and co-writer Ryan Coogler in an essay where he expressed his negative feelings toward the recently passed voting law but explained why he chose not to leave the state.

He said he spoke with voting rights activists in the state and came to “understand that many of the people employed by my film, including all the local vendors and businesses we engage, are the very same people who will bear the brunt of SB202. For those reasons, I will not be engaging in a boycott of Georgia. What I will be doing is using my voice to emphasize the effects of SB202, its shameful roots in Jim Crow, and doing all I can to support organizations fighting voter suppression here in the state.”

Coogler said he lived in Atlanta for eight months while filming the original “Black Panther” in 2017.

”I have long looked forward to returning,” he wrote in the essay published at Deadline.com. “But, when I was informed of the passage of SB202 in the state, and its ramifications for the state’s voters, I was profoundly disappointed.”

Still, he said he is making “a personal commitment to raise awareness about ways to help overturn this harmful bill, and continue to get educated on this matter from people on the ground. I will encourage everyone working with me to tap in with the local community directly affected by Senate Bill 202 and to leverage their influence and resources to aid in the fight for this particular and essential pillar of democracy.”

The original “Black Panther” film was a massive global hit, generating $1.35 billion in worldwide box office revenue. The sequel is set to start shooting later this year with an anticipated release date of July 8, 2022.

Coogler’s announcement came a week after Will Smith announced his slavery film “Emancipation” was pulling out of the state due to the voting law.

The lengthy voting law, recently signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, includes shorter deadlines to request absentee ballots, limits on drop boxes but requiring every county to now have them, additional identification requirements, fewer early voting days before runoffs and a ban on non-poll workers giving food and drinks to voters waiting in line. The State Election Board gets expanded powers enabling it to remove county election boards and replace them with an interim elections manager.

The legislation also mandates that early voting be available on both Saturdays of the state’s three-week early voting period, and it allows counties the option to offer early voting on two Sundays as well. Kemp and other supporters of the voting law overhaul say the changes will increase confidence in Georgia’s voting system.