It’s been less than a year since the unexpected death of Chadwick Boseman, an event which took just about everyone by surprise as the actor had kept his colon cancer diagnosis private. At the time, Boseman had been slated to reprise his role of T’Challa for the BLACK PANTHER sequel, but despite his passing, Marvel will be moving forward with the film. Marvel Studios was quick to shot down rumours that they would use a digital double of Chadwick Boseman in the sequel, with executive vice-president Victoria Alonso saying, “No. There’s only one Chadwick and he’s not with us. Our king, unfortunately, has died in real life, not just in fiction, and we are taking a little time to see how we return to history and what we do to honor this chapter of what has happened to us that was so unexpected, so painful, so terrible, really.“
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It still remains to be seen how Chadwick Boseman’s death will be handled in the Black Panther sequel, but director Ryan Coogler told THR that moving forward is exactly what Boseman would have wanted.
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. If we cut his coverage, he would stick around and read lines off camera [to help other actors with their performances]. So it would be harder for me to stop. Truthfully. I’d feel him yelling at me, like, ‘What are you doing?’ So you keep going.
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That said, Coogler admitted that “it’s difficult” moving forward on the sequel without Boseman. “I miss him in every way that you could miss somebody, as a friend, as a collaborator,” Coogler added. “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.” Black Panther 2 is currently slated for a July 22, 2022 release.