The tragic and untimely death of Hollywood star Chadwick Boseman has sparked demand for 2018’s superhero movie Black Panther, the leading role that made him one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
Downloads of Black Panther have pushed it to No.3 on Amazon’s top movies list while it has climbed to No.4 on Apple’s iTunes Top Movies list, just one place behind another of his movies, 42 (The Jackie Robinson Story), from 2013, according to EW.
Black Panther was picked up by Disney+ in the spring and is now featured in the streaming network’s top carousel window with the message: “In remembrance of Chadwick Boseman.”
In the US, Boseman’s death at the age of 43 has lead to an outpouring of emotional responses from fans and industry insiders alike. Boseman had kept his four-year battle with colon cancer within his inner circle and had managed to maintain an incredible output while he was fighting the disease.
Even Black Panther director Ryan Coogler wasn’t privy to his illness.
Coogler said in a letter, reported in The Hollywood Reporter: “After his family released their statement, I realized that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him. Because he was a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering. He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art. Day after day, year after year. That was who he was. He was an epic firework display. I will tell stories about being there for some of the brilliant sparks till the end of my days.”
His death inspired the network ABC to the remarkable gesture of airing a commercial-free screening of Black Panther on Sunday night, followed by a news special, Chadwick Boseman – A Tribute for a King.
TONIGHT ON ABC: @Marvel’s Black Panther will air, commercial-free, starting at 8pmET. Immediately after the film I’m honored to anchor a live ABC News Special: “Chadwick Boseman – A Tribute for a King,” starting at 10:20pmET #WakandaForever ????????❤️ pic.twitter.com/MnDMwVAaW3
— Robin Roberts (@RobinRoberts) August 30, 2020
Black Panther is considered a landmark production in Hollywood: a superhero movie which was largely produced by and starred black talent. It was a massive hit internationally, earning $1.347 million (£1.01 billion), and winning three Academy Awards, for Best Original Score, Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design. It was also the first superhero film to be nominated as Best Picture.
The movie follows the character of T’Challa (Boseman), son of the fictional nation of Wakanda’s King T’Chaka (John Kani), and his difficult ascension to the throne following his father’s death.
Boseman played the role of T’Challa/Black Panther twice more – in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: End Game (2019). He was also expected to star in Black Panther 2.