Days after the world lost Chadwick Boseman, tributes continue to pour in for the late actor. News that Boseman had been privately battling colon cancer for the last four years certainly blindsided us all. Regardless, the fact that he kept working shows how committed he was to uplifting Black voices on the big screen. Boseman was next slated to reprise his instantly iconic role as King T’Challa in Black Panther II. And according to The Hollywood Reporter, he was confident that he’d sit on Wakanda’s throne once again.
Fans actually began expressing concern for Boseman’s well-being earlier this year after the actor posted an Instagram video of himself where he appeared to have lost a considerable amount of weight. We now know that this was likely a result of chemotherapy and other treatments for his illness. But even though the last few months presented him with new struggles, Boseman remained optimistic until the very end. In fact, one of THR’s sources claims that he was convinced that he’d beat the disease. He even planned on using September to bulk up for Black Panther II, which was eyeing a March start date. It wasn’t until about a week before his death that he began to accept that his time on Earth was coming to an end.
The report also confirms that Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige didn’t know about Boseman’s illness until his family announced his passing last Friday. Feige actually received an email from Boseman’s team informing him of the actor’s condition an hour before he died. But by the time Feige checked his inbox, Boseman was already gone. Feige’s lack of awareness might come as a surprise to some. However, as film finance attorney Schuyler Moore notes, major studios don’t need to have their actors medically examined before a shoot, even for insurance purposes.
“Big studios don’t often [get] completion bonds,” Moore told THR. “They are more prevalent in the indie filmmaking world. Sometimes, the big studios will look to insure for a particular actor, but they usually have a particular reason for doing so. Otherwise, studios will just shoulder the risk [of sickness or death].”
At some point, Disney and Marvel will have to figure out how to proceed with their Black Panther sequel without the film’s leading man. However, this conversation can wait as Hollywood continues to mourn the loss of one of its brightest stars.
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