Back in August, everyone learned the devastating and shocking news that Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman had passed away at age 43 from colon cancer. The actor had been extremely private about his illness and even his close collaborators were unaware that he had cancer. While many have wondered what's to come of the Black Panther films, with some hoping to see Letitia Wright's Shuri take on the mantle, it's a difficult subject for most. Understandably, Marvel has since released very little information about their plans for Black Panther 2. However, Marvel Studios EVP Victoria Alonso recently told Clarin that there are no plans to use a digital double in place of Boseman in the future.
"No. There's only one Chadwick, and he's not with us," Alonso shared. "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."
Alonso added, "Because Chadwick was not only a wonder ... 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. I know that sometimes two months go by or three months go by in production and one says, already, 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."
Last month, Wright expressed a similar sentiment. "We're just still mourning Chad, so it's not something I even want to think about," she told Net-a-Porter when asked about a Black Panther sequel. "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."
In August 2019, Disney and Marvel Studios announced Black Panther 2 with Ryan Coogler directing for May 6, 2022. "I haven't grieved a loss this acute before. I spent the last year preparing, imagining, and writing words for him to say, that we weren't destined to see," Coogler wrote in a statement in honor of Boseman. "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."