- Some of the biggest questions regarding one of the most anticipated upcoming Marvel movies might have just been answered.
- A leaker says he has learned Marvel’s plans for Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa following the actor’s untimely death.
- While nothing is official, Marvel may have decided who will replace the Black Panther — and it’s a choice that fans will probably appreciate.
Chadwick Boseman fans were devastated to learn in late August that the actor passed away following a lengthy, secret bout with cancer. He was most known for his dual role as King T’Challa and Black Panther in several Marvel movies, including the wildly successful Black Panther standalone film. We all learned that Boseman might have filmed some of his Avengers roles while dealing with the illness, and that Disney and Marvel officials had no idea of what he was going through. The news surprised the studios as well, according to previous reports. Marvel had already announced the Black Panther sequel, and the actor himself was reportedly preparing to get back into shape to reprise the role. But neither Marvel nor Disney have addressed the matter of Boseman’s successor. Not only was it too early for such an announcement, but deciding how to proceed might take time. Boseman was supposed to appear in several more Marvel projects as a central character, likely including future Avengers team-ups.
Boseman might be gone in real life, but the Black Panther will live on — and now, a leaker may have revealed how Marvel plans to move forward with the Black Panther franchise.
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Fans were quick to urge Marvel on social media to avoid recasting the role so that Boseman’s legacy as T’Challa would live on. Some fans even started a petition on the topic. Truth be told, the easiest solution for the Black Panther transition already exists: T’Challa’s sister Shuri becomes the Black Panther in the comics. That was always the expected development for the MCU, where Letitia Wright has played Boseman’s on-screen sister in multiple films already. I’ve even speculated about an easy way to explain T’Challa’s death and hint at the obvious replacement. But Disney and Marvel have yet to confirm anything.
Now, Mikey Sutton from GeekosityMag says he has started hearing things about the future of Black Panther.
Marvel hasn’t made the final decision on who will be the next Black Panther, the leaker says, but they’re leaning towards Wright. Studio executives have reportedly contemplated other options, but she might be the one. Sutton says that Shuri won’t get the Black Panther role outright, and she’ll have to prove herself in the sequel that she’s worthy of taking over for her brother.
It’s unclear what will happen to T’Challa in the sequel, or whether the transition will happen off-screen. The leaker says that it’s not Doctor Doom or Namor who will kill the king. Apparently, Marvel has no idea either, because the person who ends up killing T’Challa will probably be deeply hated:
Namor may start off as somewhat of a bad guy – misunderstood, really – but no character who will have his own superhero franchise eventually will be T’Challa’s murderer. He’d be the most despised person in the MCU. Similarly, Doom will reside in that “gray” area of good and evil. T’Challa is such a beloved character that it’d remove any empathy that audiences would have for Doom. Who, then? I do not know, and I’m told Marvel Studios doesn’t know yet, either.
The most important thing from the report is the idea that the role of T’Challa will not be recast in light of Boseman’s untimely passing. “He will always be T’Challa,” Sutton writes, “forever in our hearts.”
Black Panther 2 is expected to premiere sometime in 2022, which gives Marvel plenty of time to decide, especially given the current COVID-19 health crisis. Depending on how things evolve, we might be looking at additional postponements and reshuffles in the MCU Phase 4 and 5 schedules — especially since no new Marvel movies or shows will debut in 2020.
Will we still see T’Challa’s Black Panther in a future Marvel film? A different leaker said that Marvel might use the actor the way Disney did with Carrie Fischer for her final scenes as Leia, but nothing has been confirmed.