Kevin Feige of Marvel Studios said Black Panther 2 will “honor the legacy” of Chadwick Boseman and not recast T’Challa, but fans want to honor the late actor another way: by having Boseman’s beloved character live on in the MCU.
Boseman — who played the African king and superhero in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, 2018’s Black Panther, and Avengers sequels Infinity War and Endgame — died last August at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer. Feige and fellow Black Panther producer Nate Moore later confirmed Marvel Studios, now in production on sequel Wakanda Forever, would never recast Boseman’s role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“The Legacy of T’Challa as the Black Panther shouldn’t end with Chadwick, it should start with him. Continue what he started,” one fan tweeted as part of the viral “Recast T’Challa” and “Save T’Challa” campaign urging Marvel to reconsider writing Boseman’s character out of the MCU. Fans previously launched a change.org petition in support of recasting the role — not to replace Boseman, but “to continue the portrayal of T’Challa in the MCU.”
“If Marvel Studios removes T’Challa, it would be at the expense of the audiences (especially Black boys and men) who saw themselves in him. That also includes the millions of fans who were inspired by the character as well,” reads the petition nearing 50,000 signatures. “By not recasting, it could stifle the opportunity for one of the most popular, leading Black superheroes to add on to their legacy. The #1 way to kill a legend, is to stop telling their story.”
Last December, Feige announced Marvel would not recast Boseman’s T’Challa because the late actor’s portrayal “is iconic and transcends any iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past.” Instead, Feige said, “To honor the legacy that Chad helped us build, we want to continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film.”
Those characters include princess Shuri (Letitia Wright), T’Challa’s tech-minded younger sister, mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Wakandan spy Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), Dora Milaje general Okoye (Danai Gurira), and Jabari mountain tribe leader M’Baku (Winston Duke). A Black Panther spinoff series further exploring their home, the technologically advanced African kingdom of Wakanda, is in development at Disney+.
Boseman’s brother, Derrick Boseman, reportedly told TMZ that Chadwick would have wanted T’Challa to continue in the MCU. Paraphrasing Derrick’s comments, TMZ reported “Chadwick thought T’Challa was bigger than just himself as one guy.”