In 2018, Disney and Marvel broke barriers when they released the highly anticipated superhero movie, Black Panther. The film starred Chadwick Boseman as King T’Challa, the leader of the people of Wakanda. It was not the first time audiences had met King T’Challa, as he was also in the 2016 film, Captain America: Civil War.
Boseman was set to reprise his role as King T’Challa, AKA Black Panther, in a sequel film. Sadly, that was not able to happen, as the actor passed away in 2020 due to colon cancer.
Black Panther 2 is scheduled to come out this November, and Marvel decided to honor Boseman by not recasting his role. Instead, the new film will acknowledge that Black Panther is gone and a new story of a new hero taking on the role of Black Panther will be told.
Disney further decided to honor Boseman by making him a Disney Legend. Disney Legends are those members of the Disney family who have made long-lasting contributions to the Company. Boseman’s brother accepted the award on his brother’s behalf and gave a moving speech.
In his speech, Boseman’s brother, Derrick, talked about how much it meant to his brother to be a part of Black Panther and bring Marvel’s first black superhero to life. He also said that honoring his commitments was very important to Chadwick. Even when he was sick and going through chemotherapy, Boseman still honored his contracts and showed up to work, ready to bring his all.
This is not the first time since his death that Chadwick Boseman has been honored for his work as King T’Challa/Black Panther. Boseman also won a posthumous Emmy for his voice work on the animated Marvel show What If…? On the show, Boseman brought T’Challa into alternated worlds where truly anything can happen.
Other stars honored as Disney Legends at this year’s D23 Expo include Grey’s Anatomy stars Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey, Black-ish stars Anthony Anderson and Tracy Ellis-Ross, and the cast of Disney’s hit film Frozen — Indina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, and Kristen Bell.
Imagineers Rob’t Coltrin, Don Hahn, and Doris Hardoon were also honored, as was Disney musical genius Chris Montan. The man responsible for securing the land on which Walt Disney World Resort sits — Bob Foster — was also honored and his award was accepted by his daughter.