Marvel will not recast T’Challa in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to honor Chadwick Boseman, but recasting the role would elevate the actor’s legacy.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to premiere without its lead star Chadwick Boseman but recasting the role of T’Challa would be an ideal way to honor the late actor’s legacy. After a four-year battle with colon cancer, Chadwick Boseman sadly passed away. To honor him, Marvel Boss Kevin Feige originally announced that they would not recast the role of T’Challa.
However, Marvel fans responded with a viral petition to recast T’Challa. To date, the petition amassed almost 60,000 signatures and received national media coverage. The petition said that it’s not opposed to others (like Shuri, portrayed by Letitia Wright) taking up the mantle, nor is it asking for an immediate recast. Those leading the petition also argued that recasting the role of T’Challa would honor Chadwick Boseman more than simply retiring the character.
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Related: Why Black Panther Fans Want Marvel To Recast T’Challa For Wakanda Forever
Chadwick Boseman popularized T’Challa in the mainstream so much that people were excited to see what was next for the King of Wakanda. Unfortunately, audiences have yet to know what the MCU’s version of T’Challa would have been like in different family roles, or even as a possible Avenger. Viewers were also left to ponder the potential blowback or ramifications from T’Challa’s decision to open Wakanda up to the world. It would be a shame if Black Panther 2 brought T’Challa’s story to an end. Boseman’s T’Challa had only been King in the MCU for two years (from Captain America: Civil War) and had been snapped out of existence for five years from Avengers: Infinity War to Avengers: Endgame. While Chadwick Boseman and his portrayal of T’Challa in the MCU have a strong legacy, there is room to further honor the actor and the character by further exploring the character.
While it might seem insensitive to recast one of Chadwick Boseman’s final roles, it is important to consider how Boseman himself saw Black Panther and his roles when looking to honor his legacy. Boseman once said, “I want [people] to see the role, and not see me…that is the job of an actor…where it’s not about me. It’s about the role. And people remember the role.” (via YouTube) The iconic roles in Chadwick Boseman’s movies include figures such as Jackie Robinson (42), James Brown (Get On Up), and Thurgood Marshall (Marshall). Boseman cared so much about T’Challa that he continued working, despite his failing health, to portray Star-Lord T’Challa in What If…?. Boesman wanted to ensure viewers saw the Wakandan King be capable of saving the galaxy even without the mantle of Black Panther. Stopping the depiction of the character would seem inconsistent with the goals that Chadwick Boseman seemed happy to strive to achieve.
It’s one thing to know Chadwick Boseman for his movies, but his family knew him better than most. In an interview with TMZ, Derrick Boseman, Chadwick Boseman’s brother, supported Marvel recasting T’Challa. Derrick shared that Chadwick knew T’Challa was bigger than just one person. Derrick Boseman also believed Chadwick would want the role to continue due to the character’s inspiration for children. If Chadwick’s brother thought that the actor would want the role recast, then it would be reasonable to believe that keeping the portrayal going would be able to strengthen Chadwick’s legacy rather than diminishing it as Feige and Marvel originally seemed to believe.
Recasting T’Challa wouldn’t harm Chadwick Boseman’s legacy as an actor or cultural figure. Even if the next actor to play T’Challa and Black Panther didn’t live up to expectations, this would only lead audiences to appreciate Boseman’s portrayal even more. This has been seen before as Brandon Routh’s disappointing Superman Returns further cemented Christopher Reeve’s legacy for audiences at the time. Plus, there’s plenty of room in the MCU to explain an eventual recast for T’Challa, even with filming on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever already completed. Doctor Strange 2 is set to extend the multiverse which would suggest potential T’Challa variants. Also, Thor: Love and Thunder may introduce Bast (the Panther goddess) which could introduce a spiritual pathway for a recast. With magic, time travel, and a multiverse filled with variants, Marvel’s storytelling makes anything possible. As the #RecastTChalla petition states, “the number one way to kill a legend is to stop telling their story.” Chadwick Boseman deserves to be the beginning of a legacy and not the end of one.
Next: Black Panther 2 Can Introduce A T’Challa Variant & We Know Who’s Perfect
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023
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About The Author
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Emmanuel Noisette (or “E-Man”) is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic and a member of the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the African American Film Critics Association. Emmanuel is also the Director of the Chicago Indie Critics who seek to highlight diversity in film criticism. In addition to writing about films, Emmanuel is also a video content producer and social media influencer on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. He has been writing and creating video content since 2013.
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