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Disney Left Mourning And Scrambling After Chadwick Boseman's Sudden Death

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Last Friday the world was rocked by the sad and surprising news that Actor Chadwick Boseman had passed away after loosing his battle with colon cancer at age 43. Reports have stated he was first diagnosed with cancer back in 2016, two years before Marvel's Black Panther movie premiered.

The general public was unaware of Boseman having cancer, even after recent images of the actor surfaced showing he had lost an alarming amount of weight. Apparently Disney and Marvel Studios didn't know he had cancer either. According to an article by The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel's Kevin Feige wasn't told about the cancer until getting an urgent email on August 28, the day the actor passed away.

According to the THR article, Disney was totally unprepared for the actor's passing and is now scrambling to try and figure out how to proceed with the Black Panther character that Boseman almost single handily made so famous. Until about a week ago Boseman, who according to a source in the THR article was convinced he was going to beat the cancer and be able to begin work on the second Black Panther movie, which was set to go into production next March.

Most seem to agree that the two options for how Disney will proceed is to either replace Boseman with a new actor to portray King T’Challa, which many agree would be very difficult to do. Or they could make T’Challa’s sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright) the new Black Panther which is in keeping with a storyline from the comic books.

For me personally it is hard to imagine anyone in that role but Boseman himself. Because I know how important the Black Panther character is to the overall MCU, I know retiring the character completely isn't really an option for Disney. While I didn't personally know Boseman, from everything I have seen and read about him, my gut feeling is he would be most happy if Shuri (Letitia Wright) was allowed to take over the Black Panther mantle so she could become an inspiration and role-model to young girls, like his portrayal of the character did for young boys.

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Can't imagine what his family is going through right now, but also what a blow to his professional friends and cast mates who had no idea anything was wrong!

I haven't really been much of a fan of Marvel's legacy heroes in the comics from the past several years, but I think Shuri taking up the mantle for a Black Panther II would definitely be the way to go.  Wright has done an excellent job with the role so far and I think she can lead a movie.  You're just not going to recast Boseman anymore than you would recast RDJ for Iron Man 3 or Chris Evans for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  He's too much the character.  Rest in peace, king.

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Making Shuri, the new Black Panther would make the most sense. The Black Panther is a legacy identity, she's an established character, who has become the Panther in the comics and it would give Marvel bragging rights to having a hero movie with a strong woman of colour lead. Recasting T’Challa wouldn't sit well with people and I can't see them bringing in Hunter or Jakarra as replacements either

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Emotions are raw right now and everyone needs to deal with their grief. IMO the Black Panther needs to at least have a 2nd or 3rd outing before they turn the position over to Shuri (frankly I'm not crazy about Shuri ever taking the throne, but that's not important now). You don't build up a character like that and give him such a prominent place in the MCU (that T'Challa MUST have), and then remove said character....not when it gets you a billion dollar payoff!  And yes that does mean another actor to take the role. Boseman rocked the role, and I so looked forward to more from him.

But he's not here anymore. And there are other actors who could do it, and do it masterfully. Its not disrespectful, its reality. No different from having other actors portray James Bond when they feel they're too old for the job or have a contract dispute, etc.

In fact, I remember the torrent of hate fans had for Daniel Craig when he was named to replace Brosnan for 007. Throughout the entire production period, the trolls and the naysayers had their little 'net campaigns, badmouthing the guy and swearing to boycott the film. Hey, I wasn't keen on a blonde Bond either.

Well Casino Royale grossed over $594,239,066 worldwide, which made it the highest-grossing Bond film of all time until the release of Skyfall. Disney, Marvel and we can mourn right now and just let it all work itself out. RIP Chadwick Boseman. Wakanda Forever!

 

 

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I don't envy Disney/Marvel/Kevin the decision they'll have to make. Obviously, my gravest concern/deepest sympathy/earnest prayers are/is for Mr. Boseman's family. But I'll admit that I am curious (and interested) in what decision Marvel/Disney will make. I think of the options present, I'm the most in favor of Shuri taking up the mantle. 

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Just to point out a little irony here, when Hugh Jackman first started talking seriously about retiring as Wolverine, one of his big complaints was hitting the gym and all the other physical preparation that he had to go through each time he played the role. We now learn Boseman did that same stuff while fighting CANCER . . . and was looking forward to coming back for MORE! Say what you will, the man had guts to spare.

Now for the unpopular opinion: I think Disney should recast.

Boseman did an awesome job with the role, but he was NOT Black Panther. Black Panther was NOT Chadwick Boseman. It was a role Boseman played. Insinuating anything else is doing both a massive injustice. I like to think if Boseman was any kind of actor, he'd want the role to go on, if for no other reason than to maybe find the NEXT Chadwick Boseman out there and give him a chance to make HIS mark.

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44 minutes ago, mako said:

Now for the unpopular opinion: I think Disney should recast.

Boseman did an awesome job with the role, but he was NOT Black Panther. Black Panther was NOT Chadwick Boseman. It was a role Boseman played. Insinuating anything else is doing both a massive injustice. I like to think if Boseman was any kind of actor, he'd want the role to go on, if for no other reason than to maybe find the NEXT Chadwick Boseman out there and give him a chance to make HIS mark.

I think that probably is going to be the unpopular opinion in the coming weeks, but it may in fact be the responsible decision to make for all the stakeholders: creators and fans, alike.

I think I could have been more clear in the sentiment I was trying to express.  Certainly Black Panther is a character way bigger than any single actor, just as is Iron Man, Captain America, Superman, Sherlock Holmes, and James Bond are.  Boseman tore it up, but he was still a distinct take on the character.  There are as many alternate takes on Black Panther to be had as there are talented actors out there able to give it a shot.  And they should definitely be given a chance to take that shot, but Boseman's Black Panther exists in the context of the MCU.  I think that until that context is re-imagined, another actor would feel awkward and out of place.  The only reasons Don Cheadle worked for me as a viewer are that the change was made so early in the grand experiment, and that he was not the lead.  (Also, boy, I really do not like Terrance Howard.)

Yeah, they should recast.  Just...not right now for me.

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When it comes to recasting, it's not the first time an MCU character is recast.

Examples:

Bruce Banner/Incredible Hulk

James Rhodes/ War Machine

Fandral of the Warriors Three

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9 minutes ago, Hulkwummy said:

When it comes to recasting, it's not the first time an MCU character is recast.

Examples:

Bruce Banner/Incredible Hulk

James Rhodes/ War Machine

Fandral of the Warriors Three

Yes but those were actor who had problems with the studio and were fired. This is not the case with Boseman, who was praise for his work and had a great relationship with the studio

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The man was just a phenomenal actor. It's such a huge loss. In terms of going forward with Black Panther the most respectful thing they could do is move forward with Shuri as Queen. Nobody will accept a recasting given the situation and the King deserves a send off within the movie universe too. 

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17 minutes ago, tarot said:

Yes but those were actor who had problems with the studio and were fired. This is not the case with Boseman, who was praise for his work and had a great relationship with the studio

That is besides the point. The reason why Boseman won't be in the MCU is inconsequential regarding Marvel Films. 

They may recast him or they might allow Shuri more time to shine. You can't really get mad at Disney/Marvel recasting the part. Sometimes the story they have planned is too important to give up and change the script. We shall see. 

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14 minutes ago, Lordtom said:

The man was just a phenomenal actor. It's such a huge loss. In terms of going forward with Black Panther the most respectful thing they could do is move forward with Shuri as Queen. Nobody will accept a recasting given the situation and the King deserves a send off within the movie universe too. 

I'll accept it. Chadwick was hired by Disney/Marvel whom had full disclosure of his cancer. This was always a possibility. Am i upset by the loss of Chadwick, yes i think he was a great actor. Don't know much about him other than he played black panther. I wish the best to his family. 

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1 hour ago, mako said:

Just to point out a little irony here, when Hugh Jackman first started talking seriously about retiring as Wolverine, one of his big complaints was hitting the gym and all the other physical preparation that he had to go through each time he played the role. We now learn Boseman did that same stuff while fighting CANCER . . . and was looking forward to coming back for MORE! Say what you will, the man had guts to spare.

Now for the unpopular opinion: I think Disney should recast.

Boseman did an awesome job with the role, but he was NOT Black Panther. Black Panther was NOT Chadwick Boseman. It was a role Boseman played. Insinuating anything else is doing both a massive injustice. I like to think if Boseman was any kind of actor, he'd want the role to go on, if for no other reason than to maybe find the NEXT Chadwick Boseman out there and give him a chance to make HIS mark.

Totally concur. The mantle of the Black Panther has been passed down to whomever was good enough to challenge& defeat the current Panther, T'Challa was just the most current to hold the title. Cast another worthy actor to replace him. Don't cheapen it & pull the SJW card by giving it to Shuri. Bad enough that Thor's getting replaced by a mortal female.

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4 hours ago, MonsterChris said:

Can't imagine what his family is going through right now, but also what a blow to his professional friends and cast mates who had no idea anything was wrong!

I haven't really been much of a fan of Marvel's legacy heroes in the comics from the past several years, but I think Shuri taking up the mantle for a Black Panther II would definitely be the way to go.  Wright has done an excellent job with the role so far and I think she can lead a movie.  You're just not going to recast Boseman anymore than you would recast RDJ for Iron Man 3 or Chris Evans for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  He's too much the character.  Rest in peace, king.

Have you ever lost someone you loved? It is probably a lot like that. Of course humans vary from person to person. But it is likely very similar. 

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3 hours ago, Hulkwummy said:

When it comes to recasting, it's not the first time an MCU character is recast.

Examples:

Bruce Banner/Incredible Hulk

James Rhodes/ War Machine

Fandral of the Warriors Three

Normally, I hate recasting. It just takes me right out of the story. There are however extenuating circumstances in some cases. This sadly is a big one.

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can we just Deepfake Chadwick for like an hour of the 2nd film, he can battle Namor, Namor accidently kills him, realizes the errors of his ways joins forces with Wakanda, and the real threats emerge in the form of like Attuma and Achebe (or I dunno), then the mantle has to get passed on to Shuri and Viola no harm no foul, they can have a force ghost (ancestral plain form) deep fake style T'challa mentor Shuri through her beginnings of becoming Black Panther

I'd be cool with that

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8 hours ago, mako said:

Just to point out a little irony here, when Hugh Jackman first started talking seriously about retiring as Wolverine, one of his big complaints was hitting the gym and all the other physical preparation that he had to go through each time he played the role. We now learn Boseman did that same stuff while fighting CANCER . . . and was looking forward to coming back for MORE! Say what you will, the man had guts to spare.

Now for the unpopular opinion: I think Disney should recast.

Boseman did an awesome job with the role, but he was NOT Black Panther. Black Panther was NOT Chadwick Boseman. It was a role Boseman played. Insinuating anything else is doing both a massive injustice. I like to think if Boseman was any kind of actor, he'd want the role to go on, if for no other reason than to maybe find the NEXT Chadwick Boseman out there and give him a chance to make HIS mark.

I agree, They should recast. Chadwick was amazing no doubt. Marvel should dedicate the next film to him and hand the reigns to another capable actor. As unfortunate as It is, this isn’t the first time a movie or TV show has recast in the wake of a deceased actor. And in the next year or two people will have grieved and may be willing to accept another actor in that role.

I’m not a Shuri guy, and I mean that as no disrespect to the actress who played her. Just thought the original idea that came from the comics was dumb. I grew up with T’Challa as my Black Panther so to me, T’Challa is the Black Panther. Always feel like this when they temporarily replace established characters with new ones to shake things up. Just not my thing.

I know the decision regarding the Black Panther franchise will not be an easy one. No doubt whatever they decide will not please everyone and there will be much scrutiny, I have faith in the decision makers of the MCU that they will blow away our expectations just like Chadwick did in the first film

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Chadwick Boseman had a presents on the screen that is rare in 42 he made the character come alive as he did in several of his movie. He did the same thing with Black Panther it is to soon to think about another person playing that part.They will figure it out and they will make their decision. They have always surprised us with the right person in the right role. Comics have change characters over the years for one reason or another.

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Boseman did his job very well bringing in the Black Panther character, but as they say the show must go on. They will certainly find some one capable and Shuri is her own character not the Black Panther. We all have our favorite's, but we are all mortal and all good things must come to an end. I look forward to them continuing the character in the MCU.

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12 hours ago, Gigantor said:

Totally concur. The mantle of the Black Panther has been passed down to whomever was good enough to challenge& defeat the current Panther, T'Challa was just the most current to hold the title. Cast another worthy actor to replace him. Don't cheapen it & pull the SJW card by giving it to Shuri. Bad enough that Thor's getting replaced by a mortal female.

I don't want this thread getting hijacked by going down a rabbit hole of BS, but not everything is a SJW agenda which is such an overused term on the net. Both Thor getting temporarily replaced by Jane Foster and Shuri taking on the Black Panther mantle have precedent from the comics and is no different than say when Eric Masterson became Thor for awhile or John Walker became Captain America for awhile.  Obviously Chris Hemsworth isn't going anywhere so whatever happens there I doubt is permanent and IF Disney decides to go the Shuri route, its a logical progression of the character since Shuri is the only kin T’Challa has. Due to the current real life circumstances it would also be a very logical progression for them to go in the movies. Much more so than trying to recast with a new male actor. Now I will admit that at this time it's unknown if the actress playing Shuri actually has the acting chops to assume the lead role in a movie like Black Panther 2 and what ever other MCU movies they had planned for Black Panther. I don't think she has demonstrated not being able to do the job from the previous movies she has appeared in, but going from a secondary character to the main lead is a huge jump.  To me that really would be the only factor to consider when deciding how to proceed and I am sure there are people far more knowledgeable about making movies who will be able to make that determination than any of us here.

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You're entitled to your opinion as I am to mine. SJW is not BS, as much as you & others may wish it to be. It's what's sunk the last few SW movies & why they're cleaning house over there. John Walker & Eric Masterson or Rhodey replacing Cap/Thor/IM was more acceptable cuz it was men replacing other men. Now people wanna stir the pot by replacing a male character with a female character. Tell me if the SJW agenda is so "overused", why are female characters not replaced by a male version or Black characters replaced by a white character? Falcon can become Cap, no prob, let's get a white character to be the new Falcon. Contrary to popular belief, there are white Africans, why not do a story where a white African challenges for the right to be the Black Panther? 

Here's an idea, why not create a brand new male superhero/heroine who's a minority instead of replacing an established & popular white character with a minority?

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2 hours ago, Gigantor said:

You're entitled to your opinion as I am to mine. SJW is not BS, as much as you & others may wish it to be. It's what's sunk the last few SW movies & why they're cleaning house over there. John Walker & Eric Masterson or Rhodey replacing Cap/Thor/IM was more acceptable cuz it was men replacing other men. Now people wanna stir the pot by replacing a male character with a female character. Tell me if the SJW agenda is so "overused", why are female characters not replaced by a male version or Black characters replaced by a white character? Falcon can become Cap, no prob, let's get a white character to be the new Falcon. Contrary to popular belief, there are white Africans, why not do a story where a white African challenges for the right to be the Black Panther? 

Here's an idea, why not create a brand new male superhero/heroine who's a minority instead of replacing an established & popular white character with a minority?

I didn't say it didnt exist, I said its an overused term and doesn't apply to everything. How is Jane Foster different than Eric Masterson or John Walker different from Falcon or even when Jim Rhodes took over as Iron Man for a while in the 80's. Answer it's not. Your right, your entitled to your opinion and stated it as I stated mine, but this topic isn't about sjw despite your efforts to take it down that path, so its time to move on. (and if you are not getting the hint that means the debate of SJW ends here).

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I know its not really the same thing, but I'm suddenly reminded of Wonder Woman. In one three year series, Lynda Carter so perfectly embodied the character in fans' eyes, that for years, decades even, she was the defining image of the character in the cultural zeitgeist. I still hold that the reason so many Wonder Woman projects failed to launch was because they simply couldn't find anybody who could measure up to that image. Even when they finally cast Gal Gadot (who I consider picture perfect in the role), she still had to live down the comparison.

I also don't mind saying as good a job as they each may have done, neither Bana, Norton, nor (especially) Ruffalo are fit to hold Bill Bixby's poplin coat when it comes to playing the Hulk's alter ego. However, they had to try.

But as the song said, life goes on. I look forward to seeing how they proceed with a post-Chadwick Boseman T'Challa, but I do NOT envy them the job.

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@mako I agree with this. Even if they do cast someone new in the role, it will always be the case that he will be compared to Boseman. It's probably going to be the same when they make the Blade movie. Everyone will alway compare the actor to Blade, even if he does a better job then Snipes. 

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1 hour ago, tarot said:

@mako I agree with this. Even if they do cast someone new in the role, it will always be the case that he will be compared to Boseman. It's probably going to be the same when they make the Blade movie. Everyone will alway compare the actor to Blade, even if he does a better job then Snipes. 

Yeah, replacing Boseman is going to lead to comparisons and I'm not sure who would want that extra pressure

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