Marvel is moving forward with Black Panther II but decided not to recast Chadwick Boseman’s character, T’Challa, out of respect for the late actor.
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“Chadwick Boseman was an immensely talented actor and an inspirational individual who affected all of our lives,” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said during his Disney Investor Day presentation on Thursday, December 10. “His portrayal of T’Challa the Black Panther is iconic and transcends any iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past, and it’s for that reason that we will not react the character.”
In order to “honor the legacy that Chad helped up build,” the movie producer, 47, said that the studio will “continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film,” which hit theaters in February 2018 and became one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.
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The sequel is scheduled to be released on July 8, 2022. Feige said on Thursday that director and writer Ryan Coogler, who also worked on the original, is already “hard at work” on the script.
Boseman died at the age of 43 on August 28 after quietly battling colon cancer for four years. In between surgeries and chemotherapy, he shot films including Marshall, Da 5 Bloods and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The greatest “honor of his career,” however, was bringing “King T’Challa to life in Black Panther,” the SAG Award winner’s family said in a statement via Instagram after his death.
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“Chad deeply valued his privacy, and I wasn’t privy to the details of his illness,” Coogler, 34, said at the time. “After his family released their statement, I realized that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him. Because he was a caretaker, a leader and a man of faith, dignity and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering. He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art. Day after day, year after year. That was who he was. He was an epic firework display. I will tell stories about being there for some of the brilliant sparks till the end of my days. What an incredible mark he’s left for us.”
Marvel Studios executive Victoria Alonso previously confirmed that Boseman would not appear in Black Panther II in the form of a CGI double, telling the Argentine newspaper Clarin in November, “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.”