The king will not return to Wakanda.
The filmmaker behind a planned sequel to the 2018 Marvel film “Black Panther” said not to expect a CGI double for actor Chadwick Boseman, who played T’Challa in the movie and died Aug. 28 at 43 following a quiet battle with colon cancer.
“No. There’s only one Chadwick and he’s not with us,” Victoria Alonso, a Marvel Studios executive producer, told Argentinian newspaper Clarin, according to a translation by the Wrap. “Our king, unfortunately, has died in real life, not just in fiction, and we are taking a little time to see how we return to history and what we do to honor this chapter of what has happened to us that was so unexpected, so painful, so terrible, really.”
The follow-up to the Marvel hit was announced in August 2019 — before the coronavirus pandemic sidelined film and TV production — with a release date planned for sometime in 2022.
“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,” Alonso continued. “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.”
Alonso wasn’t the only person weighing in about Boseman. In an interview with Net-A-Porter last month, “Black Panther” co-star Letitia Wright — who has played Shuri in Marvel’s “Avengers” franchise — said it was too soon to somehow consider his inclusion in more films.
“We’re just still mourning Chad, so it’s not something I even want to think about,” she said. “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.”
Meanwhile, Boseman’s final film — the Netflix drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” with Oscar-nominee Viola Davis — will be released Dec. 18. In the adaptation of August Wilson’s 1982 Broadway play, Boseman portrays a musician named Levee, who works with blues legend Ma Rainey (Davis).
Wright previously posted a heartfelt tribute on Instagram. “My heart is broken, searching for old message of exchange, cards filled with your handwriting and memories of you holding my hand as if it was for eternity,” she said in a video. “I thought we had more time, and many more years to come, for more laughter and for more moments of me picking on you on set.”
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