Boseman’s Black Panther is irreplaceable, so where to for Disney?
The death of Chadwick Boseman has left Marvel questioning how to continue the successful franchise
With the premature death of actor Chadwick Boseman at the age of 43 last week, the internet and social media were awash with emotional tributes to an actor who, in a remarkably short space of time, carved himself a deserved place within the pantheon of actors, in particular with regard to the representation of black heroes on screen.
From godfather of soul James Brown to barrier-breaking baseball legend Jackie Robinson and, of course, the Marvel Universe hero T’Challa, the Black Panther and king of Wakanda, Boseman brought his particular mix of dignity and empathy to his iconic characters.
This has created a conundrum for the Marvel Comics Universe (MCU) and its parent company Disney. Boseman’s performance as Black Panther is iconic, singular and the one for which he was most well-known and will be eternally remembered by legions of fans. Black Panther smashed box-office records and became a touchstone for the redressing of the lack of strong, aspirational black role models in mainstream movies and Boseman’s performance had everything to do with that success. However, such success also means a sequel to the first film was inevitable and had already been scheduled for 2022 in the MCU’s overstuffed calendar...