Chadwick Boseman crying in Black Panther

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Ryan Coogler's Black Panther was arguably a cultural reset, as the Marvel blockbuster was a box office, critical, and Awards Season favorite. It was also a major step forward for inclusion, as Coogler assembled an outstanding cast and crew of primarily Black talent. Chadwick Boseman's title character became a real-life hero to many in the process, and countless fans mourned his unexpected death last summer. Now Coogler has explained how Boseman's absence will be like a gaping hole on the film's set.

When Chadwick Boseman passed away after a private battle with colon cancer, fans immediately wondered how the Black Panther franchise was going to continue. Coogler shut down the possibility of recasting or digitally bringing the late actor back, and is committed to honoring his legacy in the mysterious sequel. The acclaimed director recently spoke to how surreal it'll be returning to Wakanda without Boseman, saying:

He was somebody who was so about the collective. Black Panther, that was his movie. He was hired to play that role before anybody else was even thought of, before I was hired, before any of the actresses were hired. On that set, he was all about everybody else. Even though he was going through what he was going through, he was checking in on them, making sure they were good. If we cut his coverage, he would stick around and read lines off camera [to help other actors with their performances]. So it would be harder for me to stop. Truthfully. I'd feel him yelling at me, like, 'What are you doing?' So you keep going.

Since Chadwick Boseman's passing, plenty of his colleagues and loved ones have spoken about his character and tireless work ethic. Ryan Coogler has echoed these sentiments, revealing how Boseman was truly the heart and soul of the first Black Panther movie. And it's for that reason that it's almost impossible to imagine the upcoming sequel without the Ma Rainey actor.

Ryan Coogler's comments to THR shows the almost impossibility of developing a Black Panther movie without Chadwick Boseman. The Oscar nominated star was involved in the 2018 movie before Coogler even signed on as director, and was also seemingly the project's biggest cheerleader throughout filming. It's sure to be a big change when filming begins on Black Panther 2 without its beloved title character, and the actor who brought him to life.

Chadwick Boseman's time in the MCU is currently available on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

Exactly how Ryan Coogler, Kevin Feige, and company will continue Black Panther's story is currently unclear. There are a ton of theories swirling, and the cast/crew seem committed to honoring Chadwick Boseman's legacy in the sequel. In his same conversation with the team of Judas and the Black Messiah, Coogler spoke on this, saying:

You've got to keep going when you lose loved ones. I know Chad wouldn't have wanted us to stop.

Black Panther made history when it was released in 2018, and it managed to rise to a critical pedigree that few superhero movies do. What's more, it was a major step forwarding regarding inclusion on the big screen, with countless young Black moviegoers looking up to Chadwick Boseman as a real-life hero. It's for this reason that the late actor's death was so devastating, and why it's doubly important to pay tribute in the sequel.

Exactly what Ryan Coogler and company have cooked up remains a mystery, but all eyes are on what's coming with Black Panther 2. Perhaps the biggest question about the blockbuster is who might take on the mantle of the Panther. There are a number of A+ choices including Shuri, Okoye, and M'Baku. And in the process fans will seemingly be able to mourn both Chadwick Boseman, and well as his iconic signature character.

The next installment in the MCU is Black Widow on July 9th. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your next movie experience.

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