Director Ryan Coogler's sequel film begins production without the late Chadwick Boseman.

The original cast has returned to Wakanda for 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever', the upcoming sequel film to Ryan Coogler's 2018 MCU smash hit.

The returning cast to the filming location of Atlanta includes Danai Gurira as Okoye, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Daniel Kaluuya as W'Kabi, Winston Duke as M'Baku, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Florence Kasumba as Ayo, and Angela Bassett as Shuri and T'Challa's mother Ramonda, the Queen Mother of Wakanda. Martin Freeman will also be reprising his role as CIA operative Everett K. Ross.

The one name which is painfully absent from the upcoming sequel is Chadwick Boseman, who passed away last year at the age of 43 after years of silently battling colon cancer.

Speaking with Variety about production getting underway on the upcoming film, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige said it's "emotional" not having the actor on set. He said: "It’s clearly very emotional without Chad.

"But everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans. We’re going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud."

Director Ryan Coogler has also returned to helm 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever', based on a screenplay he wrote. The movie will not be digitally replacing Boseman, nor will the role of T'Challa be recast.

Shuri, played by Letitia Wright, is expected to have a much more expanded role in the upcoming MCU entry - in the Marvel comics she becomes Black Panther for a time. She even has her own comic entitled 'Shuri: Wakanda Forever' which is quite a big indication of the direction this movie could be heading.

A 'Black Panther' Disney+ series is also in the pipeline, with Danai Gurira's Okoye as the lead character.

'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' is scheduled for release in theatres on July 8, 2022.