A full week has gone by since the death of actor Chadwick Boseman. As many know, Boseman had a made of career of playing both iconic black people throughout history, such as James Brown and Jackie Robinson, and the Marvel superhero Black Panther. However, along with tributes to the actor, there has also been countless articles discussing what should happen with “Black Panther 2.”
Almost immediately after the release of the first film, “Black Panther 2” was announced to be in the development stages with director Ryan Coogler being attached to once again direct and write. At this time, the release of the film is on May 6, 2022 with cast members Letita Wright, Danai Gurira and Martin Freeman returning to their roles.
But, the question really arises as to if discussions of plans for the sequel are happening way too soon. Now only a week since Boseman’s death, there are countless articles discussing the situation of “Black Panther 2” ranging from outlets such as Forbes, Reuters and The Hollywood Reporter.
On the day of Boseman’s death, pop culture website ScreenRant published an article titled “Can Black Panther 2 Still Happen? Marvel’s Options Without Chadwick Boseman.” Upon release, many on Twitter saw the posting of the article as tasteless and disrespectful, especially due to not even a day passing before the posting of the article. This prompted ScreenRant to post an apology to their Twitter, which still had mixed reception from users.
Now that a full week has gone by, does that make any of the articles being posted now fine? Though the postings aren’t as bad as ScreenRant’s, is a week really enough time before talking about the plans for “Black Panther 2?”
Obviously, the question of what to do with “Black Panther 2” makes more sense in terms of the makers of the film. They are the ones directly impacted by this. But, for media outlets and fans, is this really appropriate to be talking about when Boseman’s family and friends are still feeling the impacts of his death.
Imagine if we applied this to other celebrities dying. A singer dies; “But what about the next album?” A television show actor dies; “But what about next season?” An athlete dies; “But what about next week’s game?” An author dies; “But what about the next book?”
There is a sense of irony in writing an article about people writing articles about something. By my writing this, I am contributing to the use of Boseman and “Black Panther” to bring users and views to the article and website. But, hopefully, this leads to a discussion of the ethics of this sort of thing before the next tragic death of someone.