A source close to the late Chadwick Boseman was optimistic that he would beat colon cancer and gain weight back in order to be able to star in the Black Panther sequel. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a source said that Boseman was prepping to star in the role a week before his passing. He was set to start shooting this month.
Disney is now scrambling and uncertain on if or how it should proceed with the Black Panther sequel.
Meanwhile, there were only a few people that knew about Chadwick's condition, including his producing partner Logan Coles, his agent Michael Greene, his trainer Addison Henderson, 42 director Brian Helgeland were a part of the small group of people that knew about Chadwick's condition. No one involved with Black Panther, Disney or Marvel were aware.
Henderson said, "I used to tell Chad, 'Man, you remind me of my dad. You guys are fighters, and you never stop moving forward.' For us, it was just like, 'Let’s keep going, let’s keep doing what you want to do, let’s keep training.' And then, me and Logan and his family, his wife [Taylor Simone Ledward], we were always just here to support him."
Henderson added that Boseman made sure to live "his artistic life to the fullest," focusing on "using his time and his moment to really affect people." Meanwhile, Greene said that Boseman was inspired by his mom Carolyn to keep his cancer battle private because she "taught him not to have people fulls over him." Greene added that "He also felt in this business that people trip out about things, and he was a very, very private person."
Sources say that Boseman was in bout of "hard-core pain" while filming his last film, Netflix's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
As for the projects he chose, Greene indicated that he "never did really dark movies," because "he was fighting the darkness" himself. Green explained, "I remember him and Tessa [Thompson] were offered a movie, it was about two slaves, and he was like, 'I do not want to perpetuate slavery.' It was like, 'We’re not going to keep perpetuating the stereotypes,' and that’s why he wanted to show men of strength and of character."
Boseman was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2016. He died last week at age 43.