It’s been almost a week since the passing of Chadwick Boseman and tributes to the late actor are still pouring in – particularly from Marvel Studios, industry colleagues and fans.
In a lengthy new report published by The Hollywood Reporter (THR), the 43-year-old actor had been keeping his colon cancer a secret from not just his Marvel costars and directors but also from Disney and Marvel.
The publication revealed that Kevin Feige was made aware on Chadwick’s illness last week on 28th August via an urgent e-mail. No much has been unveiled about the said e-mail except that it was likely about the actor’s sudden declining health.
A source close to Chadwick disclosed to THR that the late star himself was “…convinced until about a week before his death that he was going to beat cancer…” and was even making plans to get back in shape for “Black Panther 2”. Production for the sequel was initially scheduled for March 2021.
THR also reported that Marvel already had big plans for T’Challa / Black Panther to be interlinked with several upcoming interconnected MCU films. However, with Chadwick’s recent death, those plans will either need to be adjusted or revised completely. Having said that, Disney’s focus right now is to offer proper respect to the actor and not on the sequel.
“No one involved with ‘Black Panther’ was aware” of Chadwick’s health condition, the insider said. Only a selected non-family members (including producing partner Logan Coles, longtime agent Michael Greene, trainer Addison Henderson and “42” director Brian Helgeland) had some inclination with “with varying degrees of knowledge“.
It came as a shock to many that even Disney and Marvel Studios were kept in the dark, with the assumption that the actors under contract are required to undergo a medical evaluation for insurance reasons.
Film finance attorney Schuyler Moore offered some insight into this matter, saying, “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).”
When a fan made a comment about how “we could have saved him… if we just saw the signs“, another replied, “He did not want us to know. He did everything he could to keep this private and that’s his right. He did have treatment. He fought (all the way to the end).”
He never lost hope. That’s the important thing.