Star of Black Panther, Angela Bassett, has spoken about the experience of filming the movie’s sequel without leading man Chadwick Boseman, who tragically passed away from colon cancer last year.
In what is now an iconic role, Boseman played the film’s protagonist T’Challa (AKA the Black Panther), in the first instalment in the series, the 2018 blockbuster. If not for his passing, he was set to reprise his role.
Now that filming has commenced, Bassett, who plays the fictional kingdom of Wakanda’s queen Ramonda, has said that the cast and crew have certainly 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,” Bassett told the Guardian. She continued: “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.”
In the wake of Boseman’s passing, and in a tribute to the late star, Marvel Studios’ executive vice president, Victoria Alonso, told Clarin that the studio had no plans to use a body double to replace Boseman in future films. She famously said: “No. There’s only one Chadwick, and he’s not with us”.
This attitude was continued by studio president Kevin Feige in January 2021 who said: “We’re not going to have a CG Chadwick, and we’re not recasting T’Challa”.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director, Ryan Coogler, has also said that working on the sequel without Boseman has been “the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my professional life”. He said that “this is one of the more profound things that I’ve ever gone through in my life, having to be a part of keeping this project going without this particular person, who was like the glue that held it together.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled for release on July 8, 2022.
Watch the trailer for the original Black Panther below.