How Black Panther's Chadwick Boseman Continued To Be 'Inspirational' To The Cast Of Wakanda Forever After His Death, According To Martin Freeman

Chadwick Boseman and Martin Freeman in Black Panther, side by side.
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been chock full of surprises, thanks to projects on the small and silver screens. The most hotly anticipated upcoming Marvel movie is definitely Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which is just days away from its release. The stakes feel high given the sense of mourning happening IRL, and actor Martin Freeman recently reveaeld how Chadwick Boseman contineud to be “inspiration” to the cast of Black Panther 2 after his death. 

Actor Chadwick Boseman’s death in the summer of 2020 shocked the public and colleagues alike, as he had privately been battling colon cancer. It feels like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will honor both the late actor and his character T’Challa. Martin Freeman will be returning to the franchise as Everett Ross, and he spoke to Sky News (opens in new tab) about being unaware of his colleague’s medical struggles, offering:

I couldn't believe that nobody knew. I was saying to people at Marvel, 'Come on, you must've really known.’

But in the end Chadwick Boseman had the right to medical privacy, and didn’t share his struggles with colon cancer with folks like the cast and filmmaker Ryan Coogler. That’s partly what made his passing such a tragic shock: almost no one was considering that the acclaimed actor might be gone so soon.

Martin Freeman’s comments come as he’s promoting his role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. He’s been noticeably missing from trailers, although Marvel is known for its tight security. And from everything we’ve seen from the mysterious sequel, it sounds like it’s going to be an emotional story where art imitates life– especially regarding the plot line about T’Challa dying.

Later in that same interview, Martin Freeman explained how Chadwick Boseman continued to be inspiration for those working on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, despite leaving a gaping hole in the set. Namely because of what a badass he was on various film sets, which are known for being a grueling, exhausting place. As he put it:

You can never complain again, you can't complain about 'Oh we've been waiting around a bit long or my tea is a bit cold. When people are capable of this superhuman act of fortitude. Losing him was awful. It was dreadful the manner in which we lost him, but it was also inspirational.

This sense of awe over what Chadwick Boseman was able to do on film sets while dealing with such a serious medical condition has been echoed by those who have worked with him on projects like Black Panther and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. And that’s just one example of how Boseman’s presence loomed over the set of Wakanda Forever. As a reminder, you can check out the latest trailer for the blockbuster below,

There are countless questions about the contents of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and luckily they’ll be answered in a matter of days. Perhaps the biggest was who is going to take on the mantle of the Panther, although all signs point to one character in particular. And with Namor the Sub-mariner making his entrance into the MCU, fans are wondering how this might influence the upcoming entrance of mutants and the X-Men. In the meantime, some folks out there might be re-watching the Marvel movies in order

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on November 11th. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.