Marvel Admits It’s ‘Too Soon’ to Replace Chadwick
Because of the 2018 Black Panther incident, a sequel was always going to be a significant undertaking for Marvel Studios. But Chadwick Boseman’s death put the studio in an unlikely position whether to recast T’Challa’s title character for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
In the end, both Marvel Studios and Black Panther writer-director Ryan Coogler decided to film T’Challa’s death of Boseman and explore how the cast and Wakanda learn to move on.
However, not everyone agrees with this decision.
Not only has Boseman’s own family commented on the matter, but others are concerned that T’Challa’s stories will never be told on screen.
Ahead of Black Panther 2’s theatrical release, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige explained the reasons behind this difficult decision and how Marvel wants to continue both the actor and the character’s legacy.
Why hasn’t Black Panther 2 recreated Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa?
In an interview with Empire, Marvel president Kevin Feige explained why the studio decided not to recreate Chadwick Boseman, saying, “It felt like it was too soon to recreate:”
“It felt like it was too soon to start over again. Stan Lee always said that Marvel represents the world outside your window. And we talked about how, as extraordinary and fictional as our characters and stories are. There’s a relatable and human element to everything we do. The world is still processing the loss of Chad. And Ryan put that into the story.”
With regard to that story, once Feige and Coogler had decided what it would be, they began to focus on paying tribute to Chadwick Boseman by continuing “these incredible, aspirational, iconic ideas”:
“The conversation was totally, yeah, ‘What do we do next?’ And how can Chadwick’s legacy—and what he did to help Wakanda and Black Panther become these incredible, aspirational, iconic ideas—continue? That was all.”
T’Challa’s role in Black Panther 2
In almost every interview and panel presentation, the cast of Wakanda Forever, Ryan Coogler and Black Panther 2 have referenced Chadwick Boseman and found some way to honor him.
In fact, Shuri’s Letitia Wright recently acknowledged that the sequel “contributes to Chadwick’s legacy“ and focused “on each scene to dedicate to him”.
So even though Boseman wasn’t physically present in the sequel, the November film is still very much about Boseman’s T’Challa and continuing what he started.
And, even though T’Challa hasn’t been recreated, it’s no secret that Marvel won’t have a new Black Panther by the time the credits roll.
Due to Lego toy leaks, and Letitia Wright’s confession that Coogler discussed becoming Black Panther long before Wakanda Forever, a Wakandan princess seems the most likely candidate.
However, there are theories that Winston Duke’s M’baku or Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakiya may also have received the spell.
Overall, it will be interesting to see how Marvel balances the loss of a title character and his ongoing legacy with the rise of a new Panther coming November 11.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premieres in theaters on Friday, November 11.