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Yesterday marked actor Chadwick Boseman’s birthday, who would have turned 44 if he were still with us. Sadly, the Black Panther star passed away in late August from complications related to his four-year battle with colon cancer. Though he’s now gone, he’s certainly not forgotten, as evidenced by some of his Black Panther costars, including Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o, and other famous folks who knew him paying tribute on his birthday.
Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger may have been the chief opponent for Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa in Black Panther, but in real life, the two actors were incredibly close. Jordan addressed the impact that Boseman left on him shortly after he passed away, and here’s what he shared on social media for the late actor’s birthday.
In Lupita Nyong’o’s case, she performed in Black Panther as one of T’Challa’s key allies, with Nakia being an undercover spy for Wakanda and the monarch’s former lover. Nyong’o honored Chadwick Boseman with the following:
Next we have Letitia Wright, who starred in Black Panther as Shuri, T’Challa’s gadget-designing genius sister. Wright posted a touching video tribute for Chadwick Boseman, which you can watch below.
Looking at the wider MCU, Mark Ruffalo, who’s been playing Bruce Banner/The Hulk since The Avengers, shared some screen time with Chadwick Boseman in Avengers: Infinity War. To honor Boseman this year, Ruffalo shared a video he recorded of the Infinity War cast and crew celebrating Boseman’s birthday back then.
Finally, venturing outside of the MCU, Chadwick Boseman also received a birthday message from Viola Davis, who worked him on the upcoming Netflix movie Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Here’s what David (who has comic book movie cred from playing Amanda Waller in the DCEU) had to say:
Along with these social media tributes, Chadwick Boseman earned a special honor from Marvel Studios and Disney. Just like what was done for Stan Lee in Captain Marvel, a special version of the Marvel Studios intro was put together filled with concept art and footage of Boseman and T’Challa. This opening is playing within Black Panther on Disney+, although I wonder if it will be re-presented when Black Panther 2 rolls around. Let’s also not forget the tributes to Boseman that poured in the immediate weeks after his death, including an ABC TV special, a shoutout from Marvel Comics and a mural set up at Disneyland Resort’s Downtown Disney.
We have two posthumous performances from Chadwick Boseman to look forward to in the near future. The previously-mentioned Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, where Boseman played a trumpeter named Levee, is set to hit Netflix on December 18. Finally, we’ll hear Boseman one last time as T’Challa in Marvel’s What If… ? animated series, which is expected to premiere on Disney+ sometime next year. The episode focusing on T’Challa will explore what would have happened if the character had become Star-Lord instead of Black Panther. You can use the following link to sign up for the Mouse House’s streaming service if you’re not a subscriber already
Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for the latest and greatest film and TV news items. Keep track of what movies are intended to play in theaters next year with our 2021 release schedule. Those of you specifically curious about what the MCU has lined up for the coming years should look through our Marvel movies guide.
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Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.