Following Chadwick Boseman’s shocking death in 2020, Marvel Studios was tasked with the decision of whether to recast his King T’Challa role in Ryan Coogler’s upcoming Black Panther sequel, Wakanda Forever, a role Boseman also had previously played in Captain America: Civil War and the Avengers films. In an interview with Empire Magazine, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige talks about the decision to not recast the role, and instead find a way to honor Boseman along with a different approach in the sequel.
“It just felt like it was much too soon to recast,” he told the magazine. “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 Ryan poured that into the story.”
Once that decision was made, Feige said “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.”
The original 2018 film directed by Coogler follows T’Challa (Boseman), heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda, who must step forward to lead his people into a new future and confront a challenger from his country’s past. The pic written by Coogler and Joe Robert Cole was a historic success for Disney, grossing over $1.3B worldwide and landing seven Oscar nominations, winning in the categories of Best Original Score, Costune Design and Production Design. Coming in as the highest-grossing film ever directed by a Black filmmaker, the ninth-highest-grossing film of all time and the third-highest-grossing film in the U.S. and Canada at the time of its release, Black Panther was also the first superhero film to receive a Best Picture nomination, and the first MCU title to dominate in multiple categories.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is slated for release in theaters on November 11.