chadwick boseman black panther
[Photo via Marvel]

On Aug. 28, fans were shocked to learn that Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman had passed away. The actor was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016. Eventually, it progressed to stage IV.

Following his sudden passing, Disney is reportedly re-evaluating plans for Black Panther 2. As well, it’s been revealed why Boseman likely kept his diagnosis a secret from Marvel and Disney executives.

Read more: This ‘Twilight’ actor says he would reprise his role “in a heartbeat”

On Aug. 28, Chadwick Boseman’s family shared that the actor had passed away after a four-year battle with colon cancer. The news greatly shocked many friends and fans because his diagnosis was not widely known.

Following his passing, Disney and Marvel are reportedly re-evaluating plans for Black Panther 2. The film is set to start production early next year and hit theaters sometime in 2022.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Marvel chief creative officer Kevin Feige received an email about Boseman’s cancer diagnosis mere hours before his death. However, by the time Feige read the message, Boseman had already died.

Disney sources say that for now, the company is grieving and using the time to pay tribute to Boseman. As well, both Disney and Marvel are re-evaluating Black Panther 2 and how the billion-dollar franchise will forge ahead without its star.

Read more: Dunkin’s blink-182 pun has already inspired a new fall parody cover

Boseman’s death does not only impact Black Panther, but also the entire Marvel Universe. With the various crossovers over the years, Boseman recently appeared in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. He also appeared in last year’s box office hit Avengers: Endgame.

The Hollywood Reporter suggests that Disney has several options for Black Panther 2. The company could replace Boseman, a move that would likely generate a mass outcry from fans. Another option is to make T’Challa’s sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) the new Black Panther.

Boseman reportedly was convinced until about a week before his death that he would beat his cancer and continue his acting career. The late actor became noticeable thin in his final months and had plans to gain the weight back before Black Panther 2 started production.

Many believe that his determination to beat cancer and keep the Black Panther franchise going is why he kept his diagnosis a secret. According to a source, no one involved with Black Panther was aware of his diagnosis. As film finance attorney Schuyler Moore says, the Marvel star most likely wasn’t required to have a medical examination for insurance purposes.

Read more: Here’s why fans aren’t happy about Nintendo’s ‘Super Mario 3D All-Stars’

“Big studios don’t often [get] completion bonds,” Moore says. “They are more prevalent in the indie filmmaking world. Sometimes, the big studios will look to insure for a particular actor, but they usually have a particular reason for doing so. Otherwise, studios will just shoulder the risk [of sickness or death].”

Ultimately, it was Boseman’s wish to keep his cancer battle a secret. Only a handful of non-family members knew that Boseman was sick, including producing partner Logan Coles, agent Michael Greene, trainer Addison Henderson and 42 director Brian Helgeland.

What do you think Disney and Marvel should do for Black Panther 2 with Chadwick Boseman? Let us know in the comments below.