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WIRE Buzz: Marvel tweaks Black Panther opening to honor Boseman; Dalek re-design; Utopia canceled

By Josh Weiss
Chadwick Boseman

Today would have been Chadwick Boseman's 44th birthday. To celebrate the late actor, Marvel Studios updated its opening introduction for the version of 2018's Black Panther that can currently be streamed on Disney+. The film's official Twitter account shared the new opening along with the caption "Long live the king," a reference to Boseman's short, yet iconic, onscreen tenure as Wakanda's King T'Challa in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Former Disney CEO Bob Iger teased the update Saturday when he wrote: "To all fans of #BlackPanther: watch the film on #DisneyPlus late tonight, for a special tribute to someone that was and will always be near and dear to our hearts."

Watch below:

Boseman passed away in late August after a four-year battle with colon cancer, which he was able to keep a secret from the public.

“He was our T’Challa, our Black Panther, and our dear friend. Each time he stepped on set, he radiated charisma and joy, and each time he appeared on screen, he created something truly indelible," Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said in a statement to Variety shortly after the news of Boseman's death was announced to the public. "He embodied a lot of amazing people in his work, and nobody was better at bringing great men to life. He was as smart and kind and powerful and strong as any person he portrayed. Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for the ages. The Marvel Studios family deeply mourns his loss, and we are grieving tonight with his family.”

Marvel is still moving forward with the Black Panther sequel, which plans to shoot in July 2021. It's unclear how the second film will address the absence of T'Challa, altough MCU producer Victoria Alonso has said that the project won't revive Boseman with a digital double.

Fans have theorized that the heroic mantle of Black Panther will pass on to the character's sister, Shuri (played by Letitia Wright). Ryan Coogler is returning to write and direct the follow-up, currently slated for a theatrical release on May 6, 2022.

EX-TER-MIN-ATE! The Christmas season is finally upon us, which means the Daleks are one step (or however you measure their movements) closer to re-joining the brilliant world of Doctor Who in the show's upcoming holiday special. Titled "Revolution of the Daleks," the episode (written by showrunner Chris Chibnall) was able to wrap production before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all live-action projects back in late March.

Thanks to the Radio Times, we now have our first look at the titular antagonists, who have a brand-new redesign that channels the ominous black and silver color scheme of Star Wars' Darth Vader. "This new special is the Daleks taking on the universe," cast member Bradley Walsh ("Graham O'Brien") told the outlet. “For Whovians and the show, it’s massive.”

“To be honest, they always seemed like Christmassy imagery to me — appropriate for this time of year!" added Jodie Whittaker, who plays the Thirteenth Doctor.

Take a look below:

“You can keep updating them, but the brilliant design endures,” Chibnall said.

“Even if you don’t know much about Doctor Who, everyone knows the Daleks,” said executive producer Matt Strevens.

Directed by Lee Haven Jones, "Revolution of the Daleks," which features the return of John Barrowman's Captain Jack, has yet to announce a premiere date. That said, it is expected to debut in late 2020/early 2021.

In a year defined by an actual pandemic, it seems like audiences weren't too impressed with what they saw in Amazon's pandemic-centric series, Utopia. Per Variety, the company is pulling the plug on the show after just one season. Based on the British series of the same name, the American adaptation — currently holding a 51% on Rotten Tomatoes — was developed by best-selling Gone Girl and Sharp Objects writer, Gillian Flynn.

"My idea was to not only Americanize it — and deal with things that are specifically resonant to Americans in a lot of ways — but to also make it gritty and dirty and nasty in a very realistic way,” she said during Comic-Con@Home over the summer. “Whereas [the British version's writer, Dennis Kelly] took his cue from the graphic novels themselves, I took my cue more from the ’70s paranoia thrillers that I love. [The ones] that came out after Watergate, that came out in that era where no one trusted anyone."

Amazon Prime Utopia

John Cusack (2012), Saha Lane (Hellboy), Rainn Wilson (The Meg), and Jessica Rothe (Happy Death Day) were all a part of the project's ensemble cast. The series' title refers to a cult comic book that actually predicts threats against humanity within its pages.