On what would have been Chadwick Boseman’s 44th birthday, Disney+ has changed the introduction to 2018’s Black Panther to honor the actor who unexpectedly died earlier this year.
The logo starts off as the usual Marvel Studios logo, flipping through the pages of a comic book. But where the logo usually shows a cavalcade of various Marvel superheroes, this new logo is a celebration of Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther. This footage is collected from the appearances that Boseman’s Black Panther made throughout various movies, not just from Black Panther, but also featuring clips from Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and his final appearance in Avengers: Endgame.
Robert Iger, executive chairman of The Walt Disney Company made fans aware of the change via his Twitter page. Iger stated that fans should check out Black Panther to see “a special tribute to someone that was and will always be near and dear to our hearts.”
Chadwick Boseman died due to complications related to colon cancer on August 28, 2020. Boseman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer back in 2016, yet the disease progressed to stage IV before this year. Boseman kept his diagnosis quiet, letting only a handful of family members know about his condition. Even during his treatment, which involved multiple surgeries and chemotherapy, Boseman kept working. Knowing what his body was going through during his entire run as Black Panther only makes his ambition and dedication even more impressive in hindsight.
Chadwick Boseman was hoping for the best, even training for his part in Black Panther 2. In the last few years, Boseman was putting out an impressive amount of work, despite his condition. Just this year alone, Boseman appeared in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, and his final performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom debuts on Netflix in November.
It’s unclear as of yet what Disney plans on doing with the Black Panther character going forward. Ryan Coogler, writer and director of both Black Panther and its upcoming sequel said he was not aware of Chadwick Boseman’s illness. While there was some speculation that Marvel might use a digital version of Boseman in some parts of the film, this idea was quickly denied, with executive producer Victoria Alonso stating they wanted to honor Boseman with the upcoming sequel.
While it’s not certain how this series will continue without Chadwick Boseman, many members of Black Panther are already rumored to return. Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, and Angela Bassett are all expected to return, while there are rumors that Letitia Wright’s Shuri will be more of a central character in the sequel. Black Panther 2 is currently planning to begin shooting in July, with a scheduled release date of May 6, 2022.
The future of Black Panther is certainly going to look completely different going forward without Chadwick Boseman, but it’s nice to see that Disney and Marvel are trying to honor the actor after his passing. Whether Disney decides to recast Black Panther or not, no one will be able to truly replace Chadwick Boseman.