Marvel’s Black Panther will pay tribute to The Walking Dead stuntman John Bernecker, who passed away in 2017 after a tragic on-set accident.
John Bernecker’s work lives on as Marvel pays tribute to the stuntman in the upcoming film Black Panther. Bernecker died shortly after filming stunt work for Black Panther and the film’s director wanted to pay homage to him with a cameo in the movie.
Bleeding Cool reports that Bernecker returned to Georgia after filming Black Panther, and it was at that point last summer that he lost his life in a tragic on-set accident. Black Panther’s director Ryan Coogler wanted to do something special to celebrate the stuntman’s life so Bernecker appears in a scene in the movie.
Stunt men and women often appear in place of principal actors and are meant to be unseen, while at other times they appear in scenes as extras while performing their stunts. In Bernecker’s case, he appears briefly in a scene at a casino. Since the movie hasn’t been released yet there isn’t much context available for the scene, but the fact that he’s included quite intentionally is very touching.
In recent weeks OSHA ruled that The Walking Dead production company Stalwart Films should pay the maximum fine for failure “to protect employees from fall hazards.” Bernecker’s mother Susan has filed a lawsuit against AMC, the show’s production companies and actor Austin Amelio since that ruling. It isn’t known how much money she is seeking in damages, but it’s noteworthy that she included the actor who plays Dwight in the suit.
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Bernecker also worked on Rampage starring The Rock and The Walking Dead’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Rampage is due later this year.