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Ryan Coogler Won't Stop Filming Black Panther 2 in Georgia, Promises to Fight Voter Suppression

Black Panther 2 director, Ryan Coogler, has penned an op-ed to explain why the movie will film in Georgia despite Senate Bill 202 and its effects on voters in the state.Coogler wrote a guest column on Deadline saying that he was profoundly disappointed to learn of SB202’s passing in Georgia. The director explains that before turning his concern into action, he spoke with voting rights activists in the state and in doing so, has decided that Black Panther 2 will film in Georgia, where most Marvel movies are filmed these days.

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“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 writes. “For those reasons, I will not be engaging in a boycott of Georgia.Coogler says that instead, he’ll be “using (his) voice to emphasize the effects of SB202, its shameful roots in Jim Crow, and doing all (he) can to support organizations fighting voter suppression here in the state.” The director then lists all of the things SB202 will do including shortening the absentee ballot request period, banning mobile voting, and criminalizing handing out water and snacks to voters in line, amongst many other things.

SB202 was born out of the events following the 2020 presidential election, wherein former president, Donald Trump, made unfounded claims that voter fraud in Georgia is what led to President Joe Biden’s win.

Coogler continues in his column by listing some of the things H.R.1, otherwise known as the For the People Act, will reform in regards to voting rights. H.R.1 would “take aim at barriers to voting, like burdensome systems and limited voting hours,” and more, according to Coogler. The act was already passed by the U.S. House, but must now be passed by the Senate to take effect.

“Our film is staying in Georgia,” Coogler writes. “Additionally, I have made 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.”

You can read Coogler’s column in full at Deadline. This op-ed from the Black Panther 2 director comes just days after Will Smith and director Antoine Fuqua announced that they would stop filming their upcoming thriller, Emancipation, in Georgia due to SB202.

For more about Black Panther 2, read about how one of the film’s producers ruled out a Chadwick Boseman cameo and then check out this story about how Coogler says Boseman wouldn’t have wanted them to stop making Black Panther movies.

Wesley LeBlanc is a freelance news writer and guide maker for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @LeBlancWes.