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How Will ‘Black Panther’ Go On Without Chadwick Boseman?

Chadwick Boseman wears a sleek, skin-tight black suit and is flanked by two Black women in exotic African dress. They seem to have just descended the stairs of a spaceship or super-plane of some kind

Chadwick Boseman (center) in the 2018 film The Black Panther.

While mourning the sudden death of star Chadwick Boseman, executives at Disney are also struggling to find a way forward for their vibrant Black Panther franchise. The studio is looking at its options:

One is to replace Boseman, which could generate a fan outcry and prompt inevitable comparisons between actors. Even with a scheduled release date of 2022, already iffy due to the coronavirus pandemic, few actors may be willing to take on that challenge. The second option, which may be more tenable, is to make T’Challa’s sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright) the new Black Panther. That scenario also aligns with events portrayed in one of the comic book series on which the film is based.

Intriguing. Even recently, it seems, Chadwick Boseman thought he was going to beat the cancer and muscle back up to film Black Panther 2 next year. The story from The Hollywood Reporter also has some answers for those who are wondering how nobody seemed to know about Boseman’s stage 3 (and later stage 4) colon cancer:

Many are left wondering how Boseman kept his diagnosis under wraps while shooting a film with a colossal budget like the $200 million Black Panther in 2017 (the film opened the following year and went on to earn $1.35 billion worldwide and was nominated for a best picture Oscar). But film finance attorney Schuyler Moore says a Marvel star wouldn’t likely require a medical examination for insurance purposes.

“Big studios don’t often [get] completion bonds,” says Moore. “They are more prevalent in the indie filmmaking world. Sometimes, the big studios will look to insure for a particular actor, but they usually have a particular reason for doing so. Otherwise, studios will just shoulder the risk [of sickness or death].”

Solid story, and what a terrific loss.

See our full biography of Chadwick Boseman »

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