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Leak reveals how ‘Black Panther 2’ will address Chadwick Boseman’s death

Published Dec 20th, 2020 1:26PM EST
Chadwick Boseman
Image: Marvel Studios

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  • A new report from an insider familiar with Marvel’s plans explains how Chadwick Boseman’s departure will be addressed on screen.
  • The actor died before starting work on Black Panther 2, the sequel to the iconic superhero movie Boseman starred in a few years ago.
  • Marvel confirmed a few days ago that it would not recast T’Challa as a way of honoring the actor.

Chadwick Boseman passed away in late August after a secret bout with cancer that lasted several years. Only the people close to the beloved actor were aware of his medical condition, reports said at the time. Boseman played many of his iconic roles while battling the illness, including King T’Challa in the standalone Black Panther movie and the two massive Avengers films that concluded the Infinity Saga. Boseman was supposed to star in Black Panther 2 along with other MCU crossovers, but his untimely death ruined those plans.

Disney and Marvel did not comment on the future of the Black Panther character at the time, as fans took to social media asking the studio not to recast the role. Instead, fans wanted Shuri (Letitia Wright) to become the next leader of Wakanda and take over as Black Panther. Speculation followed as to how Marvel would address the passing of the baton, just as leaks indicated the studio would not recast T’Challa. Kevin Feige confirmed those rumors a few days ago without saying who will replace T’Challa, but one leaker might have the scoop. Beware, what follows might contain a significant spoiler.

The plan was always for T’Challa’s sister to become the next Black Panther, previous reports have said. But Boseman’s death might have pushed those plans up, forcing Marvel to make changes to the storyline.

Feige confirmed during the Marvel segment of Disney’s Investor Day that Chadwick Boseman will be the only T’Challa in the MCU.

“I wanted to acknowledge the devastating loss of a dear friend and member of the Marvel Studios family,” Feige said. “Chadwick Boseman was an immensely talented actor and an inspirational individual who affected all of our lives professionally and personally. His portrayal of T’Challa the Black Panther is iconic and transcends iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past.”

“To honor the legacy that Chad helped us build through his portrayal of the king of Wakanda, we want to continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film.”

Mikey Sutton of Geekosity said in his previous Marvel scoops that it wouldn’t be a major villain to kill T’Challa. Sutton now says in a new report that T’Challa’s death will not involve a major battle, as some fan theories suggested. But fans have been trained to expect that sort of heroic death from the heroes of the MCU. Just think about it: Loki, Gamora, Black Widow, and Iron Man all died after a major conflict or battle.

But Marvel wants to honor Boseman by giving him a death that mimics his real-life condition.

“T’Challa’s passing will reflect the sad reality of how Boseman died, from a disease,” the report notes. It’s unclear whether it will be cancer, but that’s the most likely scenario, as it would be “a way of honoring the actor, and acknowledging that everyone, even superheroes, can succumb to a real-life illness.”

Black Panther 2 will launch on July 8th, 2022, assuming everything goes according to plan during the coronavirus pandemic, and Marvel can stick to its current schedule for the MCU.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.