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Black Panther 2 will film in Georgia despite voting law, director says

Marvel superhero blockbuster Black Panther 2 will still film in Georgia despite the state’s controversial new voting law, director Ryan Coogler, right, has said (Ian West/PA)
Marvel superhero blockbuster Black Panther 2 will still film in Georgia despite the state’s controversial new voting law, director Ryan Coogler, right, has said (Ian West/PA)

Marvel superhero blockbuster Black Panther 2 will still film in Georgia despite the state’s controversial new voting law, director Ryan Coogler has said.

The law introduced restrictions that critics – including President Joe Biden – argue disproportionately impact black voters.

Mr Biden compared the legislation to the Jim Crow laws that enforced racial segregation in the US south.

Supporters say the law will protect the integrity of elections.

Black Panther European Premiere – London
The cast and crew of Black Panther. The sequel is set to film in the US state of Georgia (Ian West/PA)

Much of Hollywood, however, has been incensed.

Georgia is a major hub of film and TV production and earlier this week Will Smith and director Antoine Fuqua pulled their runaway slave drama Emancipation from the state in protest against the law.

Coogler has announced he will not be doing the same with Black Panther 2, which is scheduled to start shooting this summer.

While condemning the law, he said a boycott of the state would hurt the same people affected by the restrictions.

In an op-ed published by Shadow and Act, Coogler said: “As an African-American, and as a citizen, I oppose all attempts, explicit and otherwise, to shrink the electorate and reduce access to the ballot.”

Coogler said when he learned of the bill, named SB202, he was “profoundly disappointed”.

He added: “While I wished to turn my concern into action, I could not do so without first being educated on the specifics of Georgia.

“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.

“For those reasons, I will not be engaging in a boycott of Georgia. What I will be doing is using my voice to emphasise the effects of SB202, its shameful roots in Jim Crow, and doing all I can to support organisations fighting voter suppression here in the state.”

This is not the first time Georgia, which boasts generous tax incentives for film and TV productions, has been threatened with a Hollywood boycott due to its politics.

In 2019, an anti-abortion law prompted studios to threaten to pull production from the state. The law was later declared unconstitutional.

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