Production on Black Panther 2 was originally set to kick off next March, and leading man Chadwick Boseman was gearing up to start training for his return as T’Challa before the actor tragically succumbed to the battle against colon cancer he had been secretly fighting for years. The superhero sequel already had a locked in release date of May 6th, 2022, but given the circumstances, it seems incredibly likely that the project will be delayed indefinitely now.
The pic is going to be a hugely emotional and bittersweet experience for the cast, crew, fans and audiences alike, and will look to pay tribute to Boseman’s iconic performance while also attempting to live up to the first movie’s reputation as a cultural landmark that redefined the way Hollywood studios approached their highest profile properties. No doubt director Ryan Coogler will aim to celebrate the life of the actor who was integral to the first movie’s phenomenal success, but a deft balance will need to be struck between honoring Boseman’s legacy and advancing the franchise itself.
How the film will do that remains to be seen, but insider Grace Randolph is now claiming that T’Challa will be killed in battle during Black Panther 2‘s opening scene, leading to Shuri stepping up to the plate and inheriting the mantle of Wakanda’s protector.
I hear that they are making a #ChadwickBoseman digital double that's looking very life like…
— Grace Randolph (@GraceRandolph) November 5, 2020
If this turns out to be the case, which it might well be after rumors of a digital double started gaining some serious traction, then it has to be handled incredibly carefully or the whole thing could come off as crass and tasteless. Black Panther 2 isn’t required to be a hagiography to Chadwick Boseman, but it nonetheless needs to embrace what he brought to the character and what he meant to millions of fans around the world.