When Chadwick Boseman passed away in August last year, everyone was well aware that the world had been robbed of a great actor, possibly one of the best given time. It seems that we could have already seen more of the Black Panther star if a planned sequel to the Russell Crowe noir thriller L.A. Confidential had gone ahead. A report by The Ringer has revealed that Boseman was set to appear in the movie, which would have seen him working again with Brian Helgeland, the director of the original movie who Boseman worked with on 42 back in 2013.
The movie was pitched to Warner Bros., with Helgeland having gained agreement from Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce to both reprise their roles. With the combination of Boseman, Crowe and Pearce leading the cast, it is hard to understand exactly why the studio declined to progress with the follow up movie, especially when also taking into account that the story for the sequel was co-written by James Ellroy, the novelist of L.A. Confidential, who crafted a new storyline set in the 1970s.
L.A. Confidential claimed seven nominations and two wins at the 70th Academy Awards, with Kim Basinger walking away with a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, and Helgeland and Curtis Hanson taking Best Adapted Screenplay. While it was named the top film of 1997 by TIME Magazine, the movie lost out on the Best Picture Oscar to Titanic. Based on the standard of the original, and the coming together of the same team to work on the sequel, it again seems incredulous that Warner Bros. did not feel that this would have been a pitch worth moving forward with.
While Chadwick Boseman is known widely now for his Marvel Cinematic Universe role of Wakanda's King T'Challa in Black Panther, a role he played four times in all, he would not have been out of place in a neo-noir thriller having played Detective Andre Davis in 2019's 22 Bridges. His skill for characterization was put on full display when he took on the role of James Brown in Get On Up, and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall. His most recent role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom was enough to earn him a posthumous Oscar nomination, which he was controversially beaten to by Anthony Hopkins, and his voice will be used one more time in Marvel's upcoming What If...? series on Disney + this August.
The thought that an L.A. Confidential sequel was so close, and imagining Boseman in the mix, is definitely one of those "one that got away" moments and one that Warner Bros. will surely have been kicking themselves over ever since. It is unlikely that we will ever know the real reason behind the reluctance to green light the project, and it is therefore a blessing that we have been left with a number of other performances by Chadwick Boseman that will certainly mean his legacy will not be forgotten any time soon. It is just a shame in this case that, whether a Marvel fan or not, we have all be left asking, what if? This news comes from Collider.