Chadwick Boseman’s incomparable performance as King T’Challa in Marvel’s “Black Panther” will always be in the minds of fans, but for many the time to move forward with recasting future projects featuring the comic book character has come.
Boseman first portrayed the Wakanda leader in 2016 while appearing in “Captain America: Civil War,” two years later his character’s eponymous blockbuster hit theaters. But when Chadwick passed in 2020 after a private years-long battle with cancer, the Marvel train hit a screeching halt just as talks were underway for the sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” In the midst of mourning the actor’s untimely passing studio executives announced there would be no plans to recast T’Challa heading into the follow-up, instead his legacy as the Black Panther would be honored.
Now, with fans opining to see the sequel, Marvel Cinematic Universe producer and MCU vice president of development Nate Moore has shed more light on where the studio stands on the matter of recasting Boseman’s role.
“You will not see T’Challa in [future Marvel films]. We just couldn’t do it,” said Moore during a Nov. 12 appearance on “The Ringer-Verse” podcast. Moore, who has served as producer on films such as “Black Panther” and “Eternals,” said the decision to move forward without the character was swiftly made a year ago.
“When Chad passed, it was a real conversation we had with [director Ryan] Coogler about what do we do, and it was a fast conversation. It wasn’t weeks, it was minutes of we had to figure out how to move that franchise on without that character,” Moore said. “Because I think we all feel so much of T’Challa in the MCU on the screen — not in comics — is tied to Chadwick’s performance, is what he brought to that role both on- and off-screen,” he continued.
While fans expressed an understanding of the sentimental value of seeing Boseman as T’Challa, they also believe moving forward with a new actor would best serve the franchise and Marvel’s intertwining of storylines in other films. “I’m on ‘Team Recast’ and I’ll die on that hill. T’Challa, to some folk, is more important than the actor. We miss so many good stories without him,” wrote one person. “Recast it, all respect to Chadwick & what, he did but I think by not recasting it’ll stunt the growth of the franchise,” commented another.
But, specificity may be key in determining if and how “Black Panther” fans will again see King T’Challa. As Nate mentioned, “You will not see T’Challa in the MCU 616 universe.” Meaning Marvel movies following that specific comic timeline will exist without T’Challa, but other universes of different timelines, and the comics, could potentially see a new iteration of the Black Panther. Some fans picked up on Moore’s specificity.
“Eventually there will be a new one, but not until the next iteration of the MCU, 10-15 years from now,” tweeted one person. Another wrote, “I think we’re still gonna get T’Challa. It’s just gonna come from Kang timeline wackiness where a different T’Challa walks into the MCU after things get mixed up. So it’s not a true recast. It’s just a different version.”