Chadwick Boseman, the star of Black Panther and numerous other amazing roles, has passed away. He passed from Colon Cancer, which had been at Stage III, and finally hit Stage IV shortly before his passing. Boseman was not public about his cancer, nor did he plan to be. In spite of this, he still pressed on as Black Panther and T’Challa, flanked by his Panther sister Shuri and the infamous Dora Milaje warrior Okoye.
He once mentioned how he would be feeling so overwhelmed and saddened when he was writing well wishes to children battling cancer in hospitals. As he was writing those letters while battling cancer himself. He visited with several children as well and was a massive beacon of light that the entertainment industry simply needed.
Chadwick Boseman was a real-life superhero. He paved the way for so many black men in Hollywood and stood out heavily as one of the best actors in all of Hollywood. Most felt he was going to be a top player in the movie industry for years to come. Therefore, his passing hit everyone incredibly hard.
Fans of his, his friends, his family, everyone. We’re all at a loss for words somewhat. However, we must look at Marvel Studios and thank them for not only casting Chadwick as Black Panther/T’Challa but allowing him to remain in the role too.
Boseman had been battling cancer for four years, dating his diagnosis back to 2016. This was the same year Captain America: Civil War came out, where he first appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Boseman would likely have been diagnosed sometime around the release of the film or shortly after. It seems, however, that they had a plan in place.
Black Panther 2 PlansChadwick Boseman reprised his role as Black Panther in the standalone Black Panther movie as well as Avengers: Infinity War & Avengers: End Game. This is likely why Marvel Studios did not recast the part. Black Panther came out in 2018 and was followed very shortly by Infinity War the same year. Yet Infinity War and End Game were filmed roughly around the same time.
He had a bigger part in the Infinity War film while he came in at the end of the End Game film. This meant that should Boseman be unable to continue the role, they would have gotten 4 movie appearances out of him. Three of those appearances happening in short order and filming pretty much together.
Therefore, there was never a need to recast. Yet Marvel knew what Chadwick was dealing with and likely knew that his Colon Cancer had gotten worse. This is why there were plans to switch things up in the Black Panther 2 film, which was pretty much completely written and scheduled for a May 8, 2022 release.
Filming would have likely been scheduled to begin early next year.
The rumored plan was for Chadwick to wrap up his run as Panther in the movie, passing the “Protector of Wakanda” role on to his sister, Princess Shuri. The movie likely was going to involve T’Challa simply passing the role on while he remained on the throne as King of Wakanda. That way, he could be spoken of in the MCU without having to be used.
Meanwhile, Shuri could easily serve as Panther in the series of films going forward.
Shuri Takes On The Black Panther Mantle In Marvel ComicsFor those that are on the fence about this situation, Shuri becoming the Black Panther actually already occurred on the pages of Marvel Comics. In spite of how popular Shuri has become in the MCU, she is relatively new to Marvel Comics. In fact, Shuri did not make her first appearance as T’Challa’s sister until May of 2005.
She first appeared in Black Panther Vol. 4, Issue #2.
Shuri became the Black Panther when T’Challa was injured and recovering. Essentially, T’Challa was asked by Prince Namor of Atlantis to join him in the Cabal. This is a secret council in Marvel that is run by Doctor Doom. Of course, T’Challa declined and was attacked shortly after. This puts him into a coma, making him incapable of protecting Wakanda.
Not only could he not protect it in this state but he also could not rule it. Queen Ororo nominated Shuri for the role of his successor, seeing as she was his sister. Yet she is not immediately given everything. She was tested and passed all the trials, making her eligible for becoming the Black Panther. However, the Wakandan Panther God still has to be the one to decide.
At first, the Panther God declines this due to her lifelong jealousy of T’Challa holding the mantle. However, when Morlun threatens to destroy Wakanda entirely, Shuri feels she has no choice. She takes the Black Panther identity on and the outfit, managing to save Wakanda in the process. At the same time, she also managed to bring her brother out of his coma.
The Panther God rewards her sacrifice and officially gives her the Black Panther title and all the powers it comes with. That also included the title as Ruler of Wakanda.
Possible Original Storyline Plan In Black Panther 2It is likely that the writers of Black Panther 2 were planning to use either Doctor Doom or Namor, possibly even both, as the main villain(s) of the film. The reason mostly comes down to the storyline that involves the best way to make Shuri the new Black Panther. The lead up to that story-arc as well as the story itself was likely considered heavily for the script.
It all began in Secret Invasion, which also included the Fantastic Four and Skrulls. The Skrulls enter Wakanda, causing T’Challa to get heavily involved.
After this, T’Challa is attacked by the Cabal & Shuri becomes the Black Panther. Once T’Challa wakes up from his coma, he finds that Doom infected several Wakandan officials using nanites. The now powerless former King goes out in search of Doom while Shuri remains in Wakanda to rule.
Yet Shuri herself eventually goes out in search of Namor to find out what actually injured her brother.
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She and T’Challa then manage to find out that the infected Wakandans now plan to overthrow Wakanda and take it for themselves. All of this sets up for the Doomwar story-arc. Since Doom is controlling these Wakandans, he becomes the ruler of Wakanda and now controls all of its Vibranium supply.
T’Challa is re-powered soon and along with his sister Shuri and some of the X-Men, seek to take back the Wakandan throne. Yet this will be tough, as Shuri and T’Challa are the only Wakandans not affected by Doom’s nanites. The height of the story is when Doom uses the vibrianium’s mystical qualities to take over all the processed vibranium on the planet.
T’Challa and Shuri succeed in stopping Doom when they render all vibranium on the planet inert.
T’Challa & Shuri Plans NowIt seems that Marvel Studios never planned on keeping T’Challa the main focus of Black Panther movies after the second film. They wanted Shuri to take on the role due to Chadwick Boseman’s real-life cancer struggle. Should Boseman manage to defeat cancer, it is likely that he would play a larger role in the MCU again should he want to do so.
Yet Boseman’s cancer was no secret to the studio, which is why the second Panther film was going to focus on Shuri much more. Of course, they always wanted Boseman to be able to take part in the movie to officially hand off the role to his storyline sister, Shuri.
Of course, this will no longer be possible. Thus, many are under the impression that T’Challa will be recast so they can go forth with movie and universe plans. However, you should probably know that Marvel Studios will likely not recast T’Challa. Yet it is VERY possible they use a body double and some CGI to include Boseman in the film somehow.
If they are to make Shuri the new Ruler of Wakanda as well as new Black Panther, they certainly cannot expect to do this without a way to set it up. We all know what happened to Boseman off-screen. Yet the question for many is, how do you set up Shuri becoming the new Panther?
Life After T’Challa For The MCUIt is quite likely that with filming not expected to start for a while, rewrites will happen. Of course, that’ll possibly result in some major overhauls to the script. Mostly, they will remove most of the lines Boseman would have had as well as scenes with Shuri and just replace him with another character. This could go to Okoye or another established name.
They also could very well change the narrative of the film to killing T’Challa rather than severely injuring him. Of course, this would be a tragic rewrite that would not sit well. Many feel that there needs to be a deserving end to T’Challa due to such a horrible end in real life happening to Boseman. That is hard to argue against, honestly.
That could mean that he goes out in a huge way on-screen to start Black Panther 2. Thus, Shuri and co. are now on a mission to track down who did this. To most, it would need to be Doctor Doom because he makes the most sense for something like this.
Killmonger might still be living, but he does not make sense to kill T’Challa in the MCU. Claw might be a huge Wakandan enemy, but too weak to kill Black Panther. Plus, most of the tribes would be unable to do this effectively. Surely, it would need to be Doctor Doom.
Yes, the Atlantians and Wakandans are at odds a lot in Marvel Comics. Therefore, Namor could be the one to do this. Yet that would be hard to do and then make him into a hero or anti-hero later. Thus, Doom or someone of his same type would make the most sense.
End Result Means HistoryIf Marvel Studios and Disney do decide to go with Shuri becoming the new Black Panther, it’s huge. Not only is it huge for the actress playing her, Letitia Wright. It is also huge to overall history for both black people and women. If Shuri becomes the new Panther, she would be the first black woman to have a Marvel Superhero Solo Film.
Sure, the first movie she is in will likely involve several names to help. However, Wright is 26-years-old and perfect to build a franchise like this around. Marvel gives a black woman her own major solo superhero movie, thereby saving the Black Panther franchise.
Meanwhile, Wright is possible to add to other portions of the MCU too. Of course, this does not mean that Wright would need to sign a long-term deal with Marvel Studios to play Shuri and Black Panther. With all that is going on currently, that seems unlikely to see until later on.
Yet the closer the second movie comes to releasing, and the more known of the future of Black Panther in the MCU, we can know just how well Shuri fits into Marvel’s plans.
Time will tell, but for now, we can be certain Marvel Studios did plan for the unfortunate loss of Boseman. However, they nor most of us saw his death coming so very soon. Boseman’s death just adds to the misery that is 2020.
In spite of this, if there is one thing people can be happy about, it is that Letitia Wright will get a massive opportunity to make history. Something many feel she truly deserves.