Black Panther star Angela Bassett has spoken about filming the movie’s sequel without actor Chadwick Boseman, who passed away from colon cancer last year.
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Boseman played protagonist T’Challa (aka the Black Panther) in the 2018 blockbuster, and would have been reprising his role if not for his passing. Bassett, who plays Wakanda’s queen Ramonda, said that the cast and crew have been feeling the star’s absence while shooting Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
“Everyone felt, the first week of shooting, the presence of Chadwick and missing him on that throne,” she recently told The Guardian.
“But we all came together and just paid homage to him before we began, which was wonderful … everyone just speaking beautiful words about him and expressing how much we care and how he informed and inspired us.”
After Boseman’s passing, Marvel Studios’ executive vice president Victoria Alonso told Clarin that Marvel had no plans to use a body double to replace the actor in future films.
“No. There’s only one Chadwick, and he’s not with us,” she said.
This sentiment was echoed by Marvel Studios’ president Kevin Feige in January this year, who said, “We’re not going to have a CG Chadwick and we’re not recasting T’Challa”.
When filming for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever began in June, Feige said they would be doing it “in a way that would make Chad proud”.
The film’s director, Ryan Coogler, had reflected on filming without the late star some months prior, calling it “the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my professional life”.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set for release on July 8, 2022.