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The late Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman was memorialized Sunday evening by fellow MCU stars Robert Downey Jr. ("Tony Stark/Iron Man") and Don Cheadle ("James Rhodes/War Machine") during a 90-minute "Greatest of All Time" MTV special hosted by Demi Lovato. Boseman received a posthumous Movie & TV Award not only for his profound impact as a cinematic superhero, but also for his portrayal of important Black historical figures like Jackie Robinson, James Brown, and Thurgood Marshall.
"The second you first saw him onscreen or had the opportunity to meet him in person, his energy and intensity was undeniable," Downey Jr. said. "There was something different and special about Chadwick Boseman ... The Avengers have all been given an opportunity to portay characters that are meaningful and hopefully memorable. Mr. Boseman truly embodied what it meant to be a superhero."
"Each time he stepped on the set, he inspired and influenced everyone there," added Cheadle. "And with every role, he created a new legion of fans. He had an incredible power to unify people in their love for his work and their respect for him as a person. The way he lived his life united people behind a higher purpose and that will be his legacy ... He brought humanity and truth to the portrayal to people who felt larger than life and he did it in a way that honored their memories."
Watch the full tribute below:
Boseman played Wakanda's Prince/King T'Challa across four Marvel Studios projects and was set to reprise the role for the Black Panther sequel prior to his death. The actor passed away in late August at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with Stage IV colon cancer, which he was able to keep a closely guarded secret from the public. His death was mourned the world over by actors, producers, writers, directors, influencers, and politicians (including former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama).
Black Panther II will move forward without Boseman and plans to ramp up production in summer 2021. During a recent interview with an Argentine newspaper, veteran MCU producer Victoria Alonso promised that the next movie would not resurrect T'Challa with digital trickery. Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) is returning as writer and director for the follow-up, which is currently scheduled for a theatrical release on May 6, 2022.