Shortly after news of Chadwick Boseman’s death first broke, Marvel Studios executives quickly got together to discuss their next steps. As Black Panther producer Nate Moore recalls, he was exercising when he got the call of Boseman’s passing, and was soon joined by other Marvel Studios executives on the call.
“Pardon my French, but ‘Holy shit, what happened?’ And at first… I remember, literally, I was on the treadmill, and I got the call, and I was like, ‘Wait, what happened?’ And then we get on a phone call and your mind is processing it as an idea and not as an emotional experience,” Moore said in a new interview with Deadline (via The Direct).
That’s when Moore says the studio began tying loose ends together as it was soon revealed Boseman’s cancer battle was a closely-guarded secret.
“Then you start to think about all the, ‘Oh, maybe that’s why X, and Y, and Z was happening.’ And then you process it emotionally and go like, ‘What do we do now?’ Like, should we even make this movie?” Moore added. “Like, how do you respond to the loss of not just your star, but a friend that you made, for me, two movies together with, and not feel like you’re just now going through the motions?”
The producer then reiterated it was never on the table to recast the character, given the cast and crew’s close relationships with Boseman. Moore says Disney never rule Marvel must make Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, instead leaving it up to Ryan Coogler and Kevin Feige to make the call.
“I’ve said this and it’s true, Disney never said, You have to make the movie, so figure it out,’” the producer concluded. “They said, ‘Well, if you don’t have to… don’t make the movie. If you guys don’t wanna make the movie, please don’t make the movie on our account.”
After speaking with Boseman’s widow Simone, Coogler and Feige opted to make the movie because they felt “Chad would’ve wanted us to make the movie.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is still in theaters ahead of its Disney+ release on February 1st.
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