Chadwick Boseman received a unique tribute from Marvel Studios on Sunday – on what would have been his 44th birthday the studio created a new introduction for his classic Marvel role in Black Panther.
It featured Boseman, who died on 28th August, in each of his Marvel outings as T’Challa, the leader of the mythical nation of Wakanda.
The movies include Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: End Game, and Captain America: Civil War.
The chief executive of The Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger, tweeted on Saturday: “To all fans of #BlackPanther: watch the film on #DisneyPlus late tonight, for a special tribute to someone that was and will always be near and dear to our hearts.”
His former co-stars, including Black Panther’s Lupita Nyong’o, joined in the commemoration.
— Lupita Nyong'o (@Lupita_Nyongo) November 29, 2020
The Tonight Show star Jimmy Fallon wrote: “Thinking about #ChadwickBoseman today on what would have been his 44th. I’ll always be grateful to have known him”.
One of the remarkable things about Boseman, apart from becoming first African-American to lead a Marvel superhero movie, was the fact he had kept his colon cancer diagnosis a secret for four years and had managed to maintain his burgeoning A-list career without anyone outside his inner circle knowing.
His impact on black culture is a big factor in the universal outpouring of emotion his death has inspired.
One of the kids at work wrote this to convince us to let them watch Black Panther today for Chadwick’s birthday. We’re absolutely watching it. #ChadwickBoseman #BlackPanther pic.twitter.com/1AdTBdRBhp
— FM (@FenMariee) November 29, 2020
It’s not yet known how Marvel will proceed with the Black Panther 2, but using a CGI double of Boseman has been ruled out.
Marvel Stuios executive Victoria Alonso said: “No. There’s only one Chadwick, and he’s not with us. Our king, unfortunately, has died in real life, not just in fiction, and we are taking a little time to see how we return to history and what we do to honour this chapter of what has happened to us that was so unexpected, so painful, so terrible, really.”
Boseman’s final movie, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, a jazz tale – for which he and co-star Viola Davis are getting Oscar buzz – is scheduled to launch on Netflix on 18th December.
Netflix announced that it was going to put Boseman forward posthumously for consideration in the leading actor categories at 2021 film awards including the Oscars.