'Black Panther' Star Letitia Wright Upsets Fans with Antivax Tweets ... Says She's Just Asking Questions

"Black Panther" star Letitia Wright says she was just trying to raise her concerns about a potential coronavirus vaccine by sharing a video made by a vaccine skeptic ... but she raised a major controversy instead.

Wright, who plays T'Challa's sister, Shuri, got a ton of backlash after posting a link to a baseless anti-vaxxer video Thursday night on Twitter ... and then tweeting her apparent support of its message.

In the vid, the presenter questions the safety and efficacy of vaccines in general, and gives fact-free opinions on what's possibly in the COVID-19 vaccine and why it could be dangerous. Letitia included the prayer hands emoji with her post.

Soon afterward, she began engaging angry Twitter users who called her out for spreading misinformation ... and explaining it away by claiming she was just asking questions.

After some more arguing, she tweeted ... "if you don’t conform to popular opinions. but ask questions and think for yourself....you get cancelled."

Don Cheadle, a fellow MCU star, got involved in the online war of words because angry fans tagged him about Wright's tweets -- and after watching parts of the vid she posted ... he seemed pretty upset with her himself.

He wrote ... "jesus... just scrolled through. hot garbage. every time i stopped and listened, he and everything he said sounded crazy and fkkkd up. i would never defend anybody posting this. but i still won't throw her away over it."

Wright has since backtracked a little from the message in the anti-vaxxer vid, and tweeted a half-apology Friday morning.

She wrote ... "my intention was not to hurt anyone, my ONLY intention of posting the video was it raised my concerns with what the vaccine contains and what we are putting in our bodies. Nothing else."

NBA's Markelle Fultz Gets Amazing 'Black Panther' Tattoo 1-Foot Tall Image On Thigh

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NBA star Markelle Fultz is taking Wakanda Forever literally ... he just got a foot-long image of the Black Panther tattooed on his thigh -- and it's AMAZING!!

TMZ Sports has learned back in the summer, Fultz hit up "Ink Master" star Roly T-Rex about getting some ink done.

And, with Chadwick Boseman's death and the Black Lives Matter movement at its peak ... the two got to thinking a "Black Panther" piece would be perfect.

According to Roly T-Rex, the artwork -- featuring a stern Black Panther surrounded by lightning -- embodied BLM's message and paid tribute to the late Boseman ... so Fultz was all about it.

The Orlando Magic star was able to sit for the needle sesh this week ... and Roly tells us everything went great.

The piece -- which is about 12-13 inches tall -- took roughly five hours to complete ... and Roly says Fultz was "ecstatic" at its finished result.

"He loved it, man," said Roly, who also does tattoo work for Fultz's Magic teammate, Aaron Gordon. "He loves the tat."

Roly says the plan is to add a little something more to the artwork later ... explaining Fultz wants a symbol to go along with it on his knee.

Chadwick Boseman Signed 'Black Panther' Comic Could Fetch Up to $25k!!!

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The late Chadwick Boseman put his John Hancock on a copy of the first "Black Panther" comic -- which has skyrocketed in value, and is primed to fetch a pretty penny at auction.

Nate D. Sanders Auctions is putting the rare autographed book up for grabs on Oct. 29, with the opening bid starting at $8,000 -- but it's expected, we're told, to reach anywhere in the ballpark of $25k when it's all said and done.

The reason ... other than Chadwick's signature, Stan Lee himself signed this variant of 'BP' #1, not to mention 'Black Panther' director Ryan Coogler. So, yeah, there's a trifecta thing happening here -- and with Chadwick's recent passing, and Stan's in 2018 ... the comic is worth even more now.

You might notice the cover is different from the OG cover of the first stand-alone "Black Panther" comic from 1976 -- from which this iteration is derived, but with a modern cover. It's also vastly changed from Black Panther's first appearance ever in Fantastic Four #52 ('66).

The one for sale is the Middle East Comic-Con variant -- which got its own art whipped up and featured Stan next to T'Challa. For those of you in the know ... It's been certified a 9.8 rating with the CGC Signature Series rating system. That means it's REALLY valuable.

As you might imagine, the folks hawking this rarity are banking on demand to be way high ... and considering the impact Chadwick had on people -- especially kids -- we think they'll be right.

Chadwick Boseman Powerful Mural Unveiled ... Wakanda Forever in Downtown Disney

Now this is cool -- a moving Chadwick Boseman mural, showing the late Marvel star giving the Wakanda salute to an adoring young fan wearing a "Black Panther" mask.

The powerful artwork by Nikkolas Smith was unveiled Thursday in Downtown Disney outside Disneyland in Anaheim ... and it's a fitting tribute to Chadwick's legacy in a number of ways.

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Nikkolas calls the mural his "King Chad" tribute and says ... "It is a full circle moment for me: my final two projects as a Disney Imagineer last summer were working on the Children’s Hospital project and the Avengers Campus."

The child in the mural appears to be wearing a hospital gown. As you know, Chadwick spent a lot of time visiting young cancer patients, even as he silently battled colon cancer.

Nikkolas adds, "To millions of kids, T'Challa was a legend larger than life, and there was no one more worthy to fill those shoes than Chadwick Boseman."

Since his death last month, Chadwick's continued to inspire fans ... especially kids who've been moved to create their own tributes to their hero, and this new mural captures that spirit.

Like Nikkolas says ... "This one is special."

Chadwick Boseman Hometown Already Working On Statue ... to Honor Late Actor

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Chadwick Boseman's hometown is already hard at work on a statue that'll pay tribute to the "Black Panther" star ... but those who want it to replace a Confederate memorial shouldn't hold their breath.

A spokesperson for Mayor Terence Roberts' Office in Anderson, SC tells TMZ ... the city is enthusiastically working on a permanent public tribute to honor the late actor.

We're told the City has already contacted an artist and they're brainstorming ideas on how best to honor the hometown hero who played legendary roles. We're told the statue will include a mix of sculpture with mural and/or art elements.

The spokesperson conceded they don't have plans nailed down but he assured us it'll be suitable for a king. We're told the Mayor's office wants public input, to ensure it does the entire city proud.

A Change.org petition is gaining steam ... after calling for a Chadwick Boseman statue to replace a Confederate memorial currently in front of the city's courthouse. Thing is ... that's not the Mayor's call, because removal of a Confederate monument requires a two-thirds vote from the state legislature.

But, what can move forward ... a fitting tribute in the late star's hometown. As we reported ... Chadwick's sudden death shocked the world following a 4-year, very private battle with colon cancer.

#WakandaForever

Chadwick Boseman S. Carolina Hometown Set to Honor Fallen Marvel Star

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Chadwick Boseman's old stomping grounds won't soon be forgetting their hero, because city officials are ramping up to pay tribute to him ... now and later.

Anderson, South Carolina Mayor Terence Roberts' office tells TMZ ... the city where Chadwick grew up will be honoring him this week in a public get-together, but also down the road as well with what we're told will be a massive enshrinement.

As for this week's plans ... a rep for the Mayor says they're hosting a remembrance Thursday at an outdoor amphitheater, where they'll have 3 guest speakers -- including a pastor, a former high school classmate of Chadwick's and the Mayor himself. After that, we're told they'll be putting on a screening of "Black Panther."

Now, we know what you're thinking ... a public gathering at an amphitheater?? In a pandemic??? Yes, but rest assured ... we're told the city is taking all precautions to do this safely, with social distancing and masks in mind. The venue normally has a max capacity of about 10,000 ... we're told they're cutting it down to half. First come, first serve.

Oh, and the place will be adorned with Chadwick-themed artwork from locals, so that'll be neat to see too. At this time, it's a little unclear if any of his immediate family members will join, but some of his extended fam who are still in the area are said to be potential drop-ins.

As for a more long-term tribute to their homegrown star -- who died Friday of colon cancer -- the Mayor's team tells us they're still not settled on a final plan, but they know it'll be a grand, lasting public display.

We're told Anderson is known for its art, and whatever they decide to do might very well fall in line with that. Whatever it is, we're told it'll do Chadwick justice, and honor his life well.

Chadwick Boseman Marvel Studios Pays Tribute 'You Will Always Be Our King'

The tributes continue pouring in for Chadwick Boseman ... and Marvel Studios let it be known the late actor will be their king forever.

The studio honored T'Challa with a touching, emotional, tribute video in which many refer to Chadwick as flawless and regal. Lupita Nyong'o said Chadwick wore the crown with dignity in "Black Panther." Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr. are just some in awe of Chadwick's immense talent.

Chadwick, of course, was also honored Sunday at the MTV VMAs with the virtual show dedicated to him. The main host, Keke Palmer, gave Chadwick a shout-out right out of the gate, saying, "We dedicate tonight’s show to the man whose spirit touched so many. He is a true hero, not just on screen but in everything he did. His impact lives forever."

The tributes have been plentiful ... but perhaps none more touching than the kids who honored Chadwick with action figure memorials.

Chadwick Boseman Dead at 43 From Colon Cancer

Chadwick Boseman, the iconic "Black Panther" star, has died at age 43 after a 4-year battle with colon cancer.

His family released a statement, saying "It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman. Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV."

They continue that "it was the honor of his career to bring King T'Challa to life in Black Panther."

"He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side"

Chadwick, who most famously brought the first black Marvel superhero to life in "Black Panther" along with a string of 'Avengers' movies was no stranger to giving life to iconic roles. He portrayed Jackie Robinson, James Brown, and Thurgood Marshall in "Marshall."

Recently, Chadwick had sparked concern amongst his fans, as he appeared very thin in videos on social media. This worry nearly overshadowed the impactful words he wanted to share with the world about Jackie Robinson and the pandemic.

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Born in South Carolina, he always had an affinity for theater, and wrote his first play in high school. He attended the famous HBCU, Howard University, and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Fine arts.

He started his career in writing and directing, but clearly, he was meant to be on the other side of the camera. He took the world by storm in 2013 in the role of Jackie Robinson in "42." On playing that role, Chadwick said, "The story is relevant because we still stand on his shoulders. He started something - I would even say maybe he didn't even start it, it started before him. But he carried the torch. And he carried it alone for a period of time before other people could help him." Clearly, he forwarded the narrative of that, as he moved on to play one of the most influential roles of a generation in the portrayal of T'Challa, aka Black Panther.

The impact he had on Hollywood, while too short, was phenomenal. He hosted 'SNL' in a very memorable episode, and was slated to star in 'Black Panther 2' which was meant to be released in 2022

As outstanding of an actor as he was, Chadwick was also an incredibly effective activist and role model ... he had a unique and powerful voice that resonated with kids and adults, showing them anything was possible.

And, there's this. Today is Jackie Robinson Day in Major League Baseball, honoring the first black player in the league. All players wear the number 42.

Chadwick was 43. RIP

Forever 21 Apologizes for Blond White Model ... As Face of 'Black Panther' Ad

2:47 PM PT -- A rep for Forever 21 tells us, "Forever 21 takes feedback on our products and marketing extremely seriously. We celebrate all superheroes with many different models of various ethnicities and apologize if the photo in question was offensive in any way."

The image of the model has also been swapped for one of just the sweater.

This is definitely a "You Might Wanna Rethink" moment for Forever 21. The retailer's using a white model to try and sell you its "Black Panther" merch for Christmas. Oh, boy ...

The images are live on its site right now for Forever 21's Wakanda Forever Fair Isle Sweater. It's a blond-haired, blue-eyed white dude rockin' its custom Christmas sweater, with a "Wakanda Forever" slogan and a Black Panther mask on the front.

It's definitely not an oversight either -- someone at F21 really thought this would be a good idea, as they have the model's stats on the same page ... he's 6'1" and sports a medium fit.

We're not saying there's anything wrong with white people supporting "Black Panther" or even wearing something like this -- on the contrary, more power to 'em.

But, to not feature a black model for this Christmas sweater campaign seems out of touch and just dumb, if you ask us. Sometimes common sense just ain't all that common, is it?

Originally Published -- 1:08 PM PT

Black Panther & Robin Join Forces For ... Super Power Lunch

Chadwick Boseman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt crossed comic book lines for a little POW wow while chowing down ... superhero costumes, sadly, not included.

The Black Panther and Robin grabbed a bite to eat Monday afternoon in L.A. and, judging by the huge grins on their mugs ... it hit the spot. We're guessing they didn't compare Marvel and DC box office numbers. Let's be honest, Joseph wouldn't be smiling if that was the case.

Maybe King T'Challa's just in the market for a new sidekick? In yo' face, Dark Knight!

Lea Thompson 'Popular' Oscar Goes to ... 'Back to the Future,' Of Course!

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'BACK TO THE FUTURE' SNUBBED?!
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Lea Thompson has zero doubt "Back to the Future" would've dominated the Oscars competition if the Academy had dreamed up the new popular film categories 32 years ago.

We got Marty McFly's mom outside Avra in Bev Hills, where she weighed in on the big Oscar changes coming in 2019. Lea makes no bones about it ... 'Future' was a global success that built an immediate cult following, and could have cleaned up.

The film, btw, did have some success at the Academy Awards in '86 -- it got nominated in 3 categories (Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Song and Best Sound Mixing) and scored 1 statue for Best Sound Editing.

We wonder if "Black Panther" is now set up to do some Oscar damage, and if it is ... Lea's cool with it!!

Know what's not cool? The image of Lea banging Howard the Duck! Even the Academy has limits.

Chrissy Metz Oh, of Course I'd Play a Superhero! I'm Split on Which Universe

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THIS IS SUPER
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Chrissy Metz says she'd love to throw on a cape and save the day on camera -- now the harder question ... DC or Marvel?

We got the 'This Is Us' star Saturday at LAX, where we asked about a revelation she made in her novel 'This Is Me' regarding abuse she suffered as a child. She offers some heartfelt advice to girls going through similar situations ... and then pivoted to spandex tights.

Our guys asks if she's a 'Black Panther' fan since her co-star, Sterling Brown, acts in it. Surprise ... she is, and wouldn't be opposed to donning a mask herself if the opportunity presented itself. Sounds like she's open to any and all, too. Whip up those scripts.

Stan Lee Stolen Blood Hits The Shelves On 'Black Panther' Comics

EXCLUSIVE

2:26 PM PT -- Evan Michailidis, a legal rep for for the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. tells us, "We’re a retail store which purchased product from Hands of Respect LLC and DLK Brand Consulting LLC that appeared certified and obtained with authorization. The books were removed from our shelves immediately."

Stan Lee's allegedly stolen blood is up for sale -- in the form of the Marvel legend's signature -- stamped on one of his biggest hits.

We've learned several 'Black Panther' comic books are currently available at the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. store on the Las Vegas Strip. Each edition comes with a certificate of authentication that details the item as a "Hand-Stamped Signature of STAN LEE using Stan Lee's Solvent DNA Ink."

We broke the story ... Stan's friend and partner Keya Morgan discovered the 95-year-old's blood was allegedly stolen back in October after a former business associate presented Lee's nurse with fake docs that authorized that a sample be drawn.

Our sources say the nurse pulled enough blood from Stan for him to feel lightheaded and dizzy.

We're told the 'Black Panther' comic with Stan's Hancock in blue is selling for $250 ... the one in gold is twice that at $500.

Stan's legal team is currently weighing its options to go after the former business associate who allegedly lifted Lee's blood.

Producer Will Packer White Directors Need Not Apply For 'Black Panther' Sequels

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THERE'S JUST ONE CONDITION
TMZ.com

When the "Black Panther" sequels start filming, a black director MUST call the shots ... according to Will Packer, who cranks out some of the most successful African-American movies.

We asked Will -- producer of "Straight Outta Compton," "Think Like a Man," "Girls Trip" and many more hits -- if someone like J.J. Abrams could take the helm for the 'BP' franchise -- which just broke the $1 billion global box office mark.

As accomplished as Abrams is, Will says he wouldn't cut it in Wakanda. He says if Ryan Coogler taps out for any of the inevitable sequels, Disney should only consider another black director.

It's not an issue yet, but seems like Will's putting the Mouse House on notice.

'Black Panther' Actor I'm a DACA Dreamer ... But, I Fear the Future

EXCLUSIVE
NOT BACKING DOWN
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A "Black Panther" actor is one of many DACA recipients sighing in relief after the Supreme Court refused to take up the case ahead of schedule ... but he says his future in America is uncertain.

Bambadjan Bamba came on "TMZ Live" hours after SCOTUS issued the Trump administration a crucial blow in its bid to phase out DACA by March 5 ... basically telling the Prez to kick rocks and to allow the case to go through the appeals process first.

Bambadjan says the court's decision -- or non-decision, if you will -- is not the long-term solution for those who want to renew work permits and remain in the country.

Bamba says Dreamers need to keep up the fight ... something he's doing with his upcoming podcast, "My Undocumented Hollywood Dream."

'This Is Us' Writer Jas Waters Offset Shocked Me and 500 Kids At 'Black Panther' Event

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IT SURPASSED EXPECTATIONS
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Offset gets the award for best "plus one" ... after pulling a last minute surprise at a "Black Panther" screening for at-risk kids, and not even the event organizer knew he was doing it.

Jas Waters, a writer on "This Is Us," told us how she came up with the idea to screen the film at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood over the weekend. It all started with her offering 2 free movie tickets on Twitter ... and ended with Offset marching into the screening with Lil Yachty.

As we previously reported, several celebs have been participating in the 'Black Panther Challenge', where they help disadvantaged and minority children see the film for free.

FOR THE KIDS
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Waters ended up getting 500 kids in the screening, and always knew Offset was down -- but says Yachty was a very pleasant surprise guest. Pretty clear, the kids agreed with Jas.

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