*While details of the “Black Panther” sequel remain on the low following the death of star Chadwick Boseman, executive producer Victoria Alonso says the follow-up to the blockbuster action film will not use a digital double for the late actor.
“No. There’s only one Chadwick, and he’s no longer with us. Sadly, our king has died in real life, not only in fiction, and we’re taking a little time to see how we continue the story and how to honor this chapter of what has unexpectedly happened to us, so painful and terrible to be honest,” Alonso said in an interview with Argentine newspaper Clarín. “Chadwick wasn’t only a wonderful human being, every day of the 5 years we spent together, but also, I believe, that what he did as a character elevated us as a company, and has left his moment on history.”
We previously reported, producers behind Disney/Marvel’s “Black Panther” are said to be unsure on how to move forward with the sequel following the death of Boseman, who played the title role in the first film.
— Black Panther (@theblackpanther) October 19, 2020
The 43-year-old star was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2016, and never disclosed his diagnosis publicly. Many of his fans, friends and colleagues were shocked when he died on Aug. 28 following a 4 year-long private battle with the disease.
According to AJC.com, neither Disney executives nor director Ryan Coogler knew about his health challenges. The cast and crew were reportedly gearing up to begin filming the sequel next month.
Kevin Feige, Marvel’s chief officer, was reportedly notified about Boseman’s failing health in an email house before he died.
Now, Disney is faced with two options on how to proceed with the “Black Panther” franchise. Hire a new actor and risk pissing off the fandom or allow Leticia Wright, who plays Black Panther’s sister Shuri, to take over the role (which actually occurs in one of the comic series).
Wright has said that she can’t begin to imagine filling Boseman’s shoes.
“We’re just still mourning Chad, so it’s not something I even want to think about. The thought of doing it without him is kinda strange. We’re just grieving at the moment, so it’s trying to find the light in the midst of it,” she said in a recent interview.
Alonso confirmed that Marvel hopes to pay tribute to Boseman’s legacy.
“Because Chadwick was not only a wonder of a human being every day for the five years that we spent together, but it also seems to me that as a character what he did elevated us as a company and has left his moment in history. I know that sometimes two months go by or three months go by in production and you say, ‘Well, it was a long time.’ But it is not a long time. We have to think carefully about what we are going to do and how and think about how we are going to honor the franchise.”