Chadwick Boseman: "Black Panther" Star Gone Too Soon

Herbie J Pilato

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According to Buzzfeed.com, "Chadwick Boseman became a movie star with his moving performance as Jackie Robinson in the hit film 42, and soon went on to play another legend, singer James Brown, in Get on Up. Boseman’s career really took off in 2016, though, when he first appeared as the Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War. Over the next five years, he riveted audiences in films like Marshall, where he portrayed Thurgood Marshall, 21 Bridges, Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and, of course, the blockbuster Black Panther."

"Tragically," Buzzfeed.com continued to report, "the start of that amazing run of success coincided with Boseman being diagnosed with colon cancer. Boseman kept his diagnosis private while filming all of these incredible performances, and the world was shocked when it was announced that he'd died [from colon cancer] on Aug. 28, 2020."

As chronicled on Today.com, "Lupita Nyong’o had to reevaluate her life after beloved friend and "Black Panther" co-star Chadwick Boseman's death. While speaking to Today.com at the special red-carpet screening of Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" in New York City, Nyong’o, 39, said that Boseman's death impacted her greatly.

"It just had me really rethinking what values I had in life," she said. I could have never imagined we'd lose Chadwick so soon, and he was so vibrant and full of life and purposeful and motivated and hardworking and all of that."

"We still lost him and it was a reminder of how temporary this life is," she continued. "It's a waste of time to be nervous."

Nyong’o said that it was "very hard" to return to set without Boseman, who plays T'Challa in the film and transforms into the superhero Black Panther, being there. But thankfully, she had the support of the rest of her castmates and it ended up being a very "therapeutic" experience for her.

"Working on this film ended up helping me through my grief,” she said. "And for that, I'm very grateful."

In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Nyong’o will reprise her role as Nakia, a respected War Dogs member, who is also T'Challa's lover.

As seen in the movie's official trailer, which was released in early October, and as further documented on Today.com, "the film will address Boseman's death and how a new character will carry on his legacy as Black Panther. Although some fans think that it might be Shuri (Letitia Wright), who plays T’Challa's sister, they'll have to wait and see what happens when the movie will officially be released on Friday, Nov. 11."

As Today.com also revealed, Danai Gurira, too, spoke about her character's new "complex" storyline. In the superhero movie, Gurira, 44, plays Okoye, the former General of the Dora Milaje and the head of Wakandan armed forces.

As for how it was to return to set after Boseman's demise, Gurira agreed with Nyong’o and said that everyone relied on their cast members for support. "We did very much feel his presence and anchored ourselves in each other and really took care of each other," Gurira said. "We continued to pour everything we had into telling a story that would make him proud," she added.

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Herbie J Pilato is the author of several books about pop culture including RETRO ACTIVE TELEVISION, THE 12 BEST SECRETS OF CHRISTMAS, MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY, TWITCH UPON A STAR, GLAMOUR, GIDGETS AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, DASHING, DARING AND DEBONAIR, and NBC & ME: MY LIFE AS A PAGE IN A BOOK, among others. He's also a TV writer/producer, and has worked for Reelz, Bravo, E!, TLC, and hosted THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, the hit classic TV talk show (which premiered on Amazon Prime in 2019).

Los Angeles, CA
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