Black Panther 2: Everything we know in the wake of Chadwick Boseman’s death
How can there be a sequel to the 2018 blockbuster without the acclaimed actor? Boseman’s death is so devastating it feels like a betrayal of his memory to even consider a film without him
How can there be a Black Panther 2 without Chadwick Boseman? The actor captivated movie audiences in 2018’s Black Panther playing T’Challa, the king and protector of the fictional nation of Wakanda, and many were looking forward to a 2022 sequel. But unbeknownst to fans, Boseman had been diagnosed with colon cancer even before that first film came out, and he at age 43.
“Chadwick’s passing is absolutely devastating,” Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, said in a statement. “He was our T’Challa, our Black Panther, and our dear friend. Each time he stepped on set, he radiated charisma and joy, and each time he appeared on screen, he created something truly indelible. He embodied a lot of amazing people in his work, and nobody was better at bringing great men to life.”
For many, it seems wrong to even think about a second film under such shocking circumstances. While recasting is nothing new in superhero films, the death of a young, vibrant actor who embodied the role so perfectly isn’t the same as other situations. Entertainment Weekly reported the obvious: Fans cannot imagine Boseman being replaced in the role. The loss is too enormous.
What we knew before Boseman’s death
There wasn’t a ton of information about the sequel available even before Boseman’s death. Black Panther 2 wasn’t scheduled for release until 2022, and filming isn’t believed to have started yet.
Before the shocking news of Boseman’s passing, the sequel seemed to be assembling a familiar group. Director Ryan Coogler, who also co-wrote the first film’s screenplay, was returning. Observers were assuming most of the original cast would be back, with Martin Freeman, who plays CIA agent Everett Ross, and Danai Gurira, who plays Okoye, head of the Dora Milaje, Wakanda’s all-female special forces, both confirming their return.