Disney Regroups for Its Strategy on Black Panther 2
With the tragic loss of actor Chadwick Boseman to Colon Cancer over a week ago now, Disney executives are grappling with how to continue with the Black Panther franchise.
According to Hollywood reporter.com, a source close to Boseman reveals that up until his death, the actor thought he would beat his four year battle with cancer and was looking forward to continuing his role as King T’Challa in the Disney franchise. The film was set to go into production in March, and Boseman was preparing for his acclaimed role for September.
Now Disney studios are dealing with his loss as he was beloved on-screen and off by his fellow co-stars. Also, the character Black Panther was set to appear in more Marvel interconnected films. Boseman has already appeared in Captain American: Civil War, Endgame, and Infinity War.
The studio has reported that their main focus is to grieve and pay tribute to Boseman and not worry about a sequel to Black Panther right now. Only a few non-family members knew of Boseman’s illness, including his agent, trainer, and director Brian Helgeland. No one immediately involved with the film knew of the actor’s condition. As he wanted to keep his battle with cancer private.
Many are left scratching their heads, wondering how the actor kept his sickness under wraps with a multi-billion dollar film such as Black Panther. But film finance attorney Schuyler Moore suspects a Marvel Star like Boseman wouldn’t require a medical examination for insurance purposes. He goes on to state that “Big Studios do not often get completion bonds ... sometimes a film will only look to insure a particularly well-known actor in a movie as opposed to one not well known.”
With other films where big-name stars suck as Carrie Fisher and Heath Ledger have died, studios have been able to carry on the franchise while honoring these actors in the process. But with Boseman playing the main character of this film, differences occur between the former deaths of those actors mentioned. The only film that has dealt with such an enormous loss such as this was Brandon Lee in the 1993 film “The Crow.”
In the movie The Crow, the script was tweaked and finished with CGI stunt doubles in place of Lee’s scenes. Some observers suggest that Disney has a few options in replacing Boseman, which would start a fan outcry and alienate their base audience. With a set date of 2022 for Black Panther 2 amid the pandemic, it will be a strict deadline to meet if Disney decides to continue, and few actors would be frightened to fill Boseman’s shoes.
The second option, which is more viable and in the Black Panther comics, would be to make T’Challa’s sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) take the reins as the new Black Panther. Whatever direction Disney chooses, the loss of Boseman will be a considerable void felt by many. I suggest the comic book option as the most viable choice since the movie follows along with the storylines. It would depend on how much the actress Letitia Wright is willing to fill those shoes and step into the training required.
Director Brain Coolger wrote in remembrance of Boseman “spent the last year preparing, imagining and writing words for him to say, that we weren’t destined to see. It leaves me broken, knowing that I won’t be able to watch another close-up of him in the monitor again or walk up to him and ask for another take.”
What are your thoughts? Should the franchise continue? Or will this be the last we hear of the Black Panther franchise? In my opinion, the franchise should continue. I feel Boseman would want it to carry on since this film is a groundbreaking historical moment! It features the first African American superhero on the big screen in a Marvel movie to make over a billion dollars worldwide! Carry on Boseman’s legacy and follow the comic! The fans will come around and in the end, thank you for it, Disney. Whatever the studio decides, it is better to be smart and strategic. Also, push the release date back to 2025.
Rest In Peace, Chadwick Boseman! Thank you for giving me Black Panther and for making me a proud African American geek.