Marvel Changed The Opening Crawl To Honor Chadwick Boseman, And It's Perfect

Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther
(Image credit: Disney)

Minor spoiler ahead for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has once again returned to theaters with Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The long-awaited sequel has been getting positive critical attention, and is expected to have a massive haul at the box office. The movie is a meditation on grief, offering an appropriate sendoff to T’Challa, and the actor who brought him to life. In fact, Marvel changed the opening crawl to honor Chadwick Boseman, and it’s perfect.

The emotional stakes for Black Panther 2 were high during both production and its release, as the passing of Chadwick Bosman left a gaping hole in the franchise. The movie honors him in a variety of ways throughout its runtime, including when we see the logo of Marvel Studios flash on the screen. Instead of showing various heroes from the MCU, all of the clips feature the Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom actor. 

This nod to Chadwick Boseman’s death is made all the more powerful because the theme song for Marvel Studios is noticeably absent. There’s no music or sound at all; Ryan Coogler quite literally creates a moment of silence to honor the late actor, where fans will no doubt reflect on his legacy. And within the contents of the movie itself, we’ll also watch characters like Shuri, Nakia, and Queen Ramonda grapple with their grief throughout the film’s 161-minute runtime. 

Of course, this isn’t the first time that the Marvel Studios opening crawl has been edited to honor Chadwick Boseman. Following his death in the summer of 2020, T’Challa became the last character visible, in a clip of him channeling kinetic energy through a purple blast on the battlefield. While various characters have been added and removed in the years since, Black Panther has remained the last character visible, as the theme music typically reaches its climax. 

As previously mentioned, the credits aren’t the only time that Chadwick Boseman is honored throughout Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The movie is appropriately dedicated to his memory, with the cast’s performances seemingly informed by their real-life feelings of mourning. The way T’Challa’s death also seemingly seems to nod at what happened IRL, with Boseman’s co-workers unaware of his private battle with colon cancer.

The first Black Panther was a truly groundbreaking entry into the MCU. The movie featured a ton of Black talent behind and in front of the camera, became a global sensation, and was even an Academy Awards favorite. And due to his role as T’Challa and performances in projects like 42 and Get On Up, Chadwick Boseman was a real-life hero to fans young and old. Smart money says there’s going to be some sniffling at opening weekend screenings of Wakanda Forever. And fans might be re-watching the Marvel movies in order ahead of seeing this emotional sequel.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is in theaters now, complete with this sweet tribute to Chadwick Boseman. Be sure to check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. Just don’t expect any upcoming Marvel movies for a while, as Ryan Coogler’s sequel was the last movie release of Phase Four. 

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.