In “Captain America: Civil War,” the “Avengers” movies and, of course, “Black Panther,” Chadwick Boseman brought King T’Challa to life, marking an important moment in representation in superhero films and breaking box office records along the way.
After Boseman’s shocking death in August 2020 due to colon cancer, which the actor had kept private, audiences began to wonder whether his character would be recast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ahead of the release of sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” shot after Boseman’s death, fans launched a campaign for Marvel to honor the actor and character by recasting T’Challa, a movement that sparked a petition with over 60,000 signatures. Although the actor does not appear in the upcoming movie, “Wakanda Forever” will pay tribute to Boseman.
In an interview with Empire, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige explained the decision to not recast T’Challa, at least yet. “It just felt like it was much too soon to recast,” he said. “Stan Lee always said that Marvel represents the world outside your window. And we had talked about how, as extraordinary and fantastical 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 [director] Ryan [Coogler] poured that into the story.”
Feige continued, “The conversations were entirely about, yes, ‘What do we do next?’ And how could the legacy of Chadwick — and what he had done to help Wakanda and the Black Panther become these incredible, aspirational, iconic ideas — continue? That’s what it was all about.”
“Wakanda Forever” premieres in theaters on Nov. 11.