Deceased Marvel actor honored: “Black people can be superheroes too

Worldwide is shocked by the death of the American actor Chadwick Boseman. He died at the age of 43 of colorectal cancer, a disease from which he had been suffering for four years, but of which no one knew except his loved ones

Boseman was best known to the general public as an interpreter of the superhero Black Panther, in Marvel’s successful series of strip cartoons. In 2018 he starred in the film of the same name. It was awarded three Oscars and is considered one of the most successful Marvel productions ever.

On social media the talent, charisma and drive of Boseman are widely praised. Many fellow actors speak of a great loss.

“For a very long time the idea has been dominant in Hollywood that only films starring white men can raise enough money. It was kind of a myth.”

‘Ancient fable’

Now this is slowly changing, the film scientist sees. “In addition to Hollywood movies with female protagonists, you see more and more black actors. Boseman was at the forefront of the generation that shows that this is possible, partly because of his role in Black Panther. The success of that film really broke the myth in Hollywood.”

According to Hassler-Forest, this began with the film poster, which only shows black people. “While it’s very difficult for black actors to get a leading role in a film that doesn’t deal with issues such as the history of slavery or contemporary problems in big cities, such as drugs and prostitution.”

Other than that, Boseman also played other iconic roles. He broke through in 2013 with his rendition of Jackie Robinson in film 42, about the first black American baseball player in the Major League. A year later, he took on the role of soul singer James Brown in the biographical film Get On Up.

Black Panther II

And the sequel to Black Panther? That film was due to premiere in May 2022. That will take longer and the film will look different, film connoisseurs expect Hassler-Forest and Larabi

“You will never be able to have the same effect as with Boseman as Black Panther”, says Larabi. “But you have to make something of it: comic book adaptations revolve around the cast, but also around continuing the tradition. But still: you’ll read in many reviews later that it’s a loss that Boseman is no longer there.”