- A Marvel leaker with a proven track record says the studio is considering going the “Carrie Fisher route” to give Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther character closure.
- Disney used CGI and a body double to shoot Leia scenes for The Rise of Skywalker after Fisher passed away unexpectedly.
- Fans have been urging Disney not to recast the Black Panther role in the wake of Boseman’s untimely death, asking the company to turn T’Challa’s sister Shuri into the next Black Panther superhero, which is what happened in the comics.
As if 2020 wasn’t shocking enough with everything that’s been going on, devastating news hit Marvel fans in late August. Chadwick Boseman, who played King T’Challa in Marvel’s iconic Black Panther, died after a long battle cancer that almost no one knew about. At that time, we learned that his diagnosis was well hidden, with few people in the industry aware of the actor’s personal challenge. Boseman was already fighting the terrible illness while filming some of his latest roles, including Marvel movies. According to reports, he was preparing for Black Panther 2 in the weeks before his death. Boseman was reportedly planning to get in shape for the role and was hopeful he’d start filming soon.
That never came to be, and Disney found itself having to deal with a major, unexpected problem. The leading actor of one of the most anticipated MCU sequels would not get to play the part. This also complicates Marvel’s plans to have Black Panther appear in other crossover films. Disney and Marvel refrained from commenting on the Black Panther franchise’s future as the world was grieving for Boseman, but fans quickly took to social media and urged Marvel not to recast the role. That’s always a possibility and it happened before, although it was at a time when Edward Norton failed to see how massive the MCU would become. But Marvel reportedly knows how to replace Boseman in the sequel, and it’s good news for fans.
Marvel’s problem does have an easy solution. Like Captain America, the Black Panther role can be attributed to any character. T’Challa’s father played the part, and we always expected to see Shuri pick up the Black Panther mantle from her brother. That’s what Boseman’s fans asked on social media, starting a petition urging Marvel not to recast a different actor for the role. Instead, Shuri should become Wakanda’s defender.
But even if that transition is easy, I already explained that Marvel must address the transition at some point in the near future. It can’t happen off-screen, as Marvel has to find a way to honor Boseman’s legacy when turning Shuri into the next Black Panther. I did say that the whole thing could be easily addressed in a post-credits scene from a future movie, quite possibly one that could be connected directly to Black Panther. T’Challa could be killed during a brief action sequence involving one of the MCU’s future villains. This would allow Marvel to give audiences a surprising and emotional post-credits scene while making it clear that it will not recast the role. And it could all happen without Marvel ever having to show Boseman’s face. That was all speculation at the time, however.
Disney is yet to address Black Panther 2, but an insider who proved in the past that he has access to accurate Marvel information took to his Patreon a few days ago to say that Marvel might go “the Carrie Fisher route by having a CGI double cameo to give Chadwick’s character closure.” It’s unclear where Daniel Richtman got his information, and we might not be able to verify it for some time to come. Let’s not forget that the coronavirus pandemic has delayed every upcoming MCU movie and most TV series, so there’s no telling when the regular schedule will resume.
The writing on the wall was there for Leia. She would die in The Rise of Skywalker after Han Solo and Luke Skywalker died in earlier installments. Sadly, Carrie Fisher passed away before shooting her Star Wars 9 scenes. Initially, we were told she would not appear in the film via special effects, but then Disney changed its mind. Relying in part on unused footage from the other films, Disney used a body double and CGI to bring Leia back one more time. Star Wars fans know what the result was. Disney made the most of what it had on hand to honor the actress. The studio did not go overboard, so it was constrained with what it could do with Leia. We got a few final lines and facial expressions from the actress, and then we got to see Leia pass away without seeing Fisher act it out.
If Richtman is correct, Disney could pull off a similar move for Boseman, assuming all parties involved agree. A stuntman wearing the Black Panther costume could certainly get the job done without having to speak any lines or showing Boseman’s face. But that’s also just speculation. There’s no telling how Marvel will explain T’Challa’s disappearance from the franchise, even if CGI is involved.