Chadwick Boseman will not be digitally inserted into the Black Panther sequel, executive producer Victoria Alonso says. Alonso spoke to Argentinian newspaper Clarín last week, assuring Marvel fans that Boseman will not be digitally recreated with CGI technology. The actor's untimely death will certainly be addressed in the not-yet-titled Black Panther 2, however.
"No. There's only one Chadwick, and he's no longer with us," Alonso said. "Sadly, our king has died in real life, not only in fiction, and we're taking a little time to see how we continue the story and how to honor this chapter of what has unexpectedly happened to us, so painful and terrible to be honest. Chadwick wasn't only a wonderful human being, every day of the 5 years we spent together, but also, I believe, that what he did as a character elevated us as a company, and has left his moment on history."
Boseman played King T'Challa, also known as the Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, followed by a stand-alone movie and then in the two most recent Avengers crossover movies for the MCU. All the while, he was privately battling with cancer, unbeknownst to most of his fans, friends and colleagues. He passed away in August at the age of 43.
Boseman had not yet filmed anything for Black Panther 2, so the direction of the project is wide open. The first movie was a massive success beyond even what Disney had hoped for, pulling in over $1.3 billion at the box office on a $200 million budget. Disney has taken its time concocting a sequel, waiting for co-writer and director Ryan Coogler to come up with something pitch perfect.
Coogler is returning to write and direct Black Panther 2, though even he apparently did not realize that Boseman was sick until he passed away. In an op-ed for The Hollywood Reporter, he wrote: "Chad deeply valued his privacy, and I wasn't privy to the details of his illness. After his family released their statement, I realized that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him."
Coogler also speculated that Boseman's portrayal of T'Challa was the real magic behind the movie's success, and made it clear that he has no intentions of recasting the role and moving on as planned. He wrote: "I had no doubt that he would live on and continue to bless us with more. But it is with a heavy heart and a sense of deep gratitude to have ever been in his presence, that I have to reckon with the fact that Chad is an ancestor now. And I know that he will watch over us, until we meet again."
Black Panther 2 is currently slated to begin filming in 2021, and to premiere in 2022.