Chadwick Boseman would have turned 44 today.
Boseman died in October following a years-long ordeal with cancer that he kept hidden from the public and even those who worked with him. Despite being diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2016, Boseman took on a number of career-defining roles, including his iconic and inarguably unmatched portrayal of T'Challa in Black Panther.
His untimely passing has created a major void for the Black Panther franchise as production on the eagerly-anticipated sequel was scheduled to get underway early next year. Marvel Studios EVP of Production Victoria Alonso has already dismissed the idea of using a digital double for the late actor, saying there's "only one Chadwick and he's not with us."
The Hollywood Reporter confirmed earlier this month that shooting for Black Panther 2 is scheduled to begin in July, four months later than originally planned due to Boseman's passing. Not much is known about the plot of the sequel, but Letitia Wright, who portrayed T'Challa's sister Shuri, is expected to reprise her role and take on a much more prominent part.
Just last month, however, Wright didn't want to even consider doing a sequel to Black Panther without Boseman. "We're just still mourning Chad, so it’s not something I even want to think about," she said in an interview with Net-A-Porter. "The thought of doing it without him is kinda strange. We’re just grieving at the moment, so it’s trying to find the light in the midst of it."
Disney chairman Bob Iger teased the arrival of the new Black Panther opening credits scene yesterday while also sharing a few words about Boseman.
Watch the opening credits tribute above.