Chadwick Boseman’s lead role in the sequel to the Black Panther superhero film will not be rewritten after the actor’s death, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige said Thursday. Feige said in a Disney presentation to investors that Boseman’s performance as the proud black leader of the fictional land of Wakanda was iconic and would not be replaced.
Boseman died in August of colon cancer at age 43 after a four-year battle with the disease that he had kept private.
Feige said the sequel would honor Boseman’s legacy by continuing “to explore the world of Wakanda and all the rich and varied characters featured in the first film.” He did not elaborate, but said the sequel would hit theaters in July 2022.
Black Panther executive producer Victoria Alonso last month denied speculation that the filmmakers planned to use a digital double for Boseman in the sequel. Alonso was quoted telling the Argentine newspaper Clarín in a November interview that the filmmakers were taking time to decide how to continue the story.
Boseman’s latest film, the drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” will be released on Netflix on December 18.
In a virtual investor presentation, Disney CEO Bob Chapek laid out large ambitions for his direct-to-consumer efforts, relying heavily on some of the company’s biggest brands. In the coming years, Disney plans to premiere directly on Disney + not just an armada of Star Wars and Marvel series, but 15 live-action, Pixar and animated series, and 15 live-action, Pixar and animated films.
Chapek said Disney + subscribers worldwide have reached 86.8 million, up from 74 million last month. The service has easily beat most forecasts, hitting that number 13 months after its launch in November 2019. Disney will increase the monthly price from $ 1 to $ 8 a month in March. The company expects between 230 and 260 million subscribers by 2024.