Black Panther director Ryan Coogler said Chadwick Boseman would have wanted him to make a sequel.
Boseman, star of Marvel’s 2018 superhero blockbuster, died in August last year following a private four-year battle with colon cancer.
He was 43. Coogler was writing Black Panther 2 when Boseman died and Marvel has since confirmed the role of T’Challa will not be recast.
Production on the sequel is set to begin this summer, with the film scheduled for a July 2022 release.
Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Coogler said it was “difficult” to proceed with making the movie.
He said: “You’ve got to keep going when you lose loved ones. I know Chad wouldn’t have wanted us to stop. He was somebody who was so about the collective.
“Black Panther, that was his movie. He was hired to play that role before anybody else was even thought of, before I was hired, before any of the actresses were hired.
“On that set, he was all about everybody else. Even though he was going through what he was going through, he was checking in on them, making sure they were good.”
Coogler, whose other films include Fruitvale Station and Creed, was unaware of Boseman’s illness.
“I knew what he wanted me to know,” the 34-year-old said. “I miss him in every way that you could miss somebody, as a friend, as a collaborator. And it sucks because I love watching movies and I don’t get to watch the next thing he would have made.
“So it’s grief on a lot of levels, but then, it’s a deep sense of gratitude because I can close my eyes and hear his voice.”
The original Black Panther was a critical and commercial success, earning a best picture nomination at the Oscars and grossing over 1.3 billion dollars (about £943 million) at the box office.