The tragic disappearance of Chadwick Boseman on August 28, 2020 left a deep impression. Aside from the shock related to the actor’s age, the suddenness of the news and what he symbolized, his death leaves a lot of uncertainties about the future of Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel recently talked about bringing Chadwick Boseman back as a digital understudy.
The solution: CGIs?
As expected, replacing Chadwick Boseman is a complicated business. Should we entrust the role of T’Challa to another actor? Should we make Shuri the new Black Panther? Or can we bring it back with a digital background? Each question raises some problems: script writing, ethics, advertising.
If Disney / Marvel hasn’t officially commented on how the studio will replace Chadwick Boseman so far, it appears they have made a decision about the possibility of creating a digital double for the actor. A process already used in Rogue One: a Star Wars story in which Lucasfilm managed to “revive” the legendary Grand Moff Tarkin, played by the legendary Peter Cushing, who died in 1994.
When asked by the Argentine newspaper Clarin, executive producer Victoria Alonso said:
No [il n’y aura pas de doublure numérique]. There’s only one Chadwick and he’s not with us anymore. Our king sadly died in real life, not just fiction, and we take the time to see how we get back to the narrative and what we will do to honor this moment, so unexpected, so painful, so heartbreaking .
You will understand, Marvel is closing the door on the opportunity to bring Chadwick Boseman back thanks to the CGIs. An answer that is hardly surprising, given that Disney also refused to use a digital understudy for Carrie Fisher in Star Wars, Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.