Most people are still trying to process the sudden death of Chadwick Boseman, with tributes flooding in from all corners. More news about the actor’s battle with colon cancer has revealed that very few individuals outside of his immediate family were aware that he was suffering from the illness, and even then the severity of his condition was withheld from certain members of his inner circle.
In fact, nobody at Marvel Studios knew he was secretly fighting the disease that would ultimately claim his life, which just makes it all the more impressive that Boseman put himself through the physical wringer when it came to performing some of the high octane stunts in Black Panther. Undoubtedly, its sequel is one of the most hotly-anticipated comic book movies on the horizon, and now Kevin Feige and his team face some incredibly difficult decisions about the future of the franchise.
A new report claims that shooting was set to begin next March in order to hit the May 2022 release date, with Boseman adamant right up until his final moments that he’d be back on set as T’Challa, and he was even ready to begin training for the role this month, confident that he would beat his cancer.
As THR explains:
The 43-year-old actor, who had become noticeably thin in recent months, was convinced until about a week before his death that he was going to beat cancer and would be able to gain the weight back for a Black Panther sequel that was scheduled to go into production in March. The actor was even set to prepare for the new film beginning in September.
Sadly, we’ll never get to see him as the King of Wakanda again, but Marvel now have two options on how to approach the follow-up to a major box office success, a critically acclaimed blockbuster and a cultural landmark. Nobody would begrudge the studio if they delayed Black Panther II indefinitely in the wake of Boseman’s passing, but if they decide to move forward with the intent of making a movie that lives up to his legacy as the title hero, then having Letitia Wright’s Shuri assume the mantle would be a logical step.
Not only does it have a precedent in the comic books, but Shuri has long been rumored to take the throne in the future, and accelerating the process would pay homage to what Boseman brought to the role and also present the opportunity for Black Panther II to take on a whole new and incredibly powerful emotional context.