Chadwick Boseman’s death at age 43 came as a shock to almost everyone. Even Spike Lee, who directed Boseman in this year’s Da 5 Bloods, never suspected that anything was amiss with Boseman’s health. The Black Panther star shielded virtually everyone from news of his Stage 3 diagnosis in 2016 — the same year he first appeared as the MCU’s T’Challa in Captain America: Civil War, all the way though Avengers: Endgame. A new report from the Hollywood Reporter reveals that even Marvel Chief Kevin Feige had no idea that Boseman was ill, and of course, people are now wondering what this all means for Black Panther 2 (due to arrive in May 2022).
According to the report, Boseman (who suffered from Stage 4 colon cancer with noticeable weight loss this year) fully believed “until about a week before his death that he was going to beat cancer and would be able to gain the weight back.” He hoped to do so prior to Black Panther 2‘s planned filming date in March 2021. Boseman also wished to start training for the sequel in September, but then his health took a turn for the worse. Here’s more about Boseman’s desire to keep his condition under wraps:
Only a handful of non-family members knew that Boseman was sick, including producing partner Logan Coles, longtime agent Michael Greene, trainer Addison Henderson and 42 director Brian Helgeland — with varying degrees of knowledge about the severity of the actor’s condition. No one involved with Black Panther was aware, says a source. It was Boseman’s wish to keep his cancer battle private.
Given that Boseman was so beloved in the King T’Challa role (he was also heroic offscreen as well as in his other cinematic endeavors), there’s little reason to believe that Marvel Studios and Disney would dream of having another actor portray T’Challa in a sequel to the 2018 movie that grossed over $1 billion.
Hollywood Reporter discusses that point, as well as an option that might be feasible: to have Letitia Wright’s Shuri, sister of T’Challa become the new Black Panther. It’s an idea that will probably find (bittersweet) audience support, especially considering that fans panicked while worrying whether Shuri would survive the snap. The idea of Shuri becoming the new Black Panther also slides into comic-book lore, so surely, Feige and the rest of Marvel Studios will tie up all the proper knots if they decide to make it happen.
(Via Hollywood Reporter)