Sofia Carson Says It Was 'Incredibly Difficult' Filming Descendants: The Royal Wedding Without Cameron Boyce
Boyce tragically died in July 2019 after suffering a seizure in his sleep due to epilepsy, three years after he was diagnosed with the disorder. He was 20. Descendants 3 was released a month after his death.
The latest installment in the Descendants franchise is the first in which Boyce won't appear.
"As you can imagine how incredibly difficult it was for us to do this without Cam," Carson, 27, told Entertainment Tonight Wednesday. "We just hope that when people watch this, they feel happy and they feel connected to the characters and of course, to our Cam."
A few months after Boyce passed, Carson told PEOPLE that she "couldn't imagine" doing another film of the Disney franchise without him.
"I'm honored that people love the franchise so much that they want another, but it's almost impossible to imagine it," the singer said at the time.
The absence of Boyce's character, Carlos, will be acknowledged in the Royal Wedding storyline, and Boyce's memory will be honored in the telecast.
For the upcoming movie, Carson is reprising her role as Evie alongside co-stars Dove Cameron as Mal, Booboo Stewart as Jay, Mitchell Hope as Ben, Sarah Jeffery as Audrey, Melanie Paxson as Fairy Godmother, China Anne McClain as Uma, Jedidiah Goodacre as Chad, Anna Cathcart as Dizzy, Dan Payne as Beast, Bobby Moynihan as Dude the Dog, and Cheyenne Jackson as Hades.
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
"Descendants introduced a fantasy world of stories and characters, anchored in Disney mythology. For the past six years, it captivated young viewers and grew to become among Disney Channel's biggest entertainment franchises ever," Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Branded Television, previously said in a statement.
"It had the benefit of immensely talented stars, who we now welcome back for this animated 'Royal Wedding' special that will bridge the audience to what we hope will be a new chapter of compelling 'Descendants' stories and characters yet to come."
Descendants: The Royal Wedding premieres summer 2021 on Disney Channel.