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In the days since the news broke of Chadwick Boseman’s death late last week, many fans have reflected with awe when considering the timeline of his cancer diagnosis and how much he was able to accomplish while battling the disease. While choosing to keep matters regarding his personal health to himself and among a small circle of family and friends, he completed production on numerous films, including multiple action-heavy performances as T’Challa a.k.a. Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The fortitude and strength he demonstrated is absolutely remarkable, and so it really comes as no surprise at all that right up until his passing he was determined to reprise his most popular role in the developing Black Panther 2.
With a May 6, 2022 release date in place for the sequel, the film has been planning to go into production starting in March 2021, and according to The Hollywood Reporter Chadwick Boseman “was convinced until about a week before his death” that he was going to be able to be in proper shape in time for the start of filming. He had been battling colon cancer for four years, and was evidently confident that he would have the strength to return to Wakanda.
Because of Chadwick Boseman’s desire to keep his diagnosis a secret, nobody at Marvel Studios or involved with the production of Black Panther was aware of his illness. According to the trade’s sources at Disney, the company is not presently acting on how the news will affect Black Panther 2, but instead focusing on how to pay tribute to the beloved actor.
As for how Chadwick Boseman was able to keep his health status a secret from Marvel Studios, THR was told by film finance attorney Schuyler Moore that it is unlikely that Boseman would have had to have a medical examination for insurance purposes, as that is apparently primarily a practice in independent filmmaking where completion bonds are more prevalent when actors sign on to projects.
In addition to Black Panther 2 on his upcoming slate, Chadwick Boseman was also developing a film titled Yasuke that he was going to both star in and produce – telling the true story of its titular 16th century warrior who was the only known Samurai of African origin. The last movie that Boseman completed, the August Wilson adaptation Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, was completed as of last summer and will be released on Netflix later this year.