According to a new report, Disney is reevaluating the future of the Black Panther franchise and how to proceed with the character after Chadwick Boseman’s untimely death.
The sad passing of Chadwick Boseman took everyone by surprise with the Black Panther star being much loved by many. Boseman’s death has, of course, also had a big impact on Disney’s plans for Black Panther II and T’Challa’s involvement in other MCU films. According to a report by THR, no one at Marvel or Disney was aware of Boseman’s illness and the studios are now grappling with how to proceed with the franchise.
“A source close to Boseman tells The Hollywood Reporter that 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.
“Now, the studio is processing the grief of losing a loved one — an actor beloved and respected on and offscreen — while having to face the economic realities of forging ahead with a billion-dollar franchise without its titular star. Disney sources say the company is processing its grief and that its focus at this stage is to pay tribute to Boseman and not on the making of a Black Panther sequel.”
It’s good to hear that Black Panther II isn’t a priority right now for Disney and Marvel, but THR’s report goes on to state that the franchise is still likely to move ahead in some capacity, and that options include recasting the role of T’Challa (which is unlikely), or having T’Challa’s sister Shuri (Leititia Wright) take on the mantle of the Black Panther.