Black Panther Director Ryan Coogler said Friday he would shoot the movie’s sequel in Georgia as planned despite his opposition to the state’s voting restrictions bill that was passed last month.
In a guest column for Deadline, Coogler said moving the film out of Georgia would negatively impact the lives of the people involved in making the film.
I have come 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, Coogler wrote. “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.”
Black Panther, the first Marvel superhero movie featuring a majority Black cast made more than $1.3 worldwide and was the highest-grossing North American movie in 2018. Last week, a petition to recast King T’Challa, the character the late Chadwick Boseman played, went up on Change.org.
Actor Will Smith and Director Antoine Fuqua announced last week they will move the production of their upcoming movie Emancipation out of the Peach State because of the voting restriction bill that was passed and signed by Gov. Brian Kemp.
Coogler wrote in the column he was “profoundly disappointed” in the passing of the bill, which adds restrictions to absentee and early voting but decided to educate himself before deciding whether to film in the state.
“Having now spoken with voting rights activists in the state, I have come 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,” Coogler wrote.
The second Black Panther movie will focus on King T’Challa’s younger sister Shuri, played by Letitia Wright.