Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Marvel would’ve canceled Wakanda Forever before recasting Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther

Updated Nov 7th, 2022 11:03AM EST
A poster showing King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) during the funeral.
Image: Marvel Studios

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

You don’t have to follow every Black Panther: Wakanda Forever rumor and spoiler to know a significant detail from the sequel’s plot. The story will reveal that Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa has died. As a result, someone else will take on the Black Panther mantle by the movie’s end.

You don’t usually see that in sequels, especially superhero movies. Boseman was set to be the star of Black Panther 2. But he never got to make the movie after tragically passing away in 2020.

Also, going into the movie, you know that Marvel never wanted to recast T’Challa. That’s something Kevin Feige has made very clear over the years. But new interviews with producer Nate Moore and director Ryan Coogler revealed that Marvel would’ve canceled Wakanda Forever before recasting T’Challa. Mind you, some spoilers might follow.

Recasting Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa wasn’t an option

Soon after Boseman’s death, fans urged Disney and Marvel not to recast the character. As years passed, and Marvel announced that it would not hire a different actor for the role, some fans began to change their minds. Some of them thought Marvel should preserve the Black Panther character, even if that meant recasting.

Apparently, recasting was never in the cards for Marvel, says Wakanda Forever producer Nate Moore. Moore explained to io9 that Marvel did consider scrapping the sequel altogether after Boseman’s death.

Sequels “aren’t a mandate,” he said. “Maybe Black Panther just lives on its own bubble. And then you start to have the other conversation, which is it did mean so much to people.”

Black Panther
Scene from first Black Panther movie with Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa in the foreground. Image source: Marvel Studios

The producer elaborated on Marvel’s thought process from there. “So then it was the conversation of, ‘Okay, if we’re going to do it, how do we do it respectfully,'” he said.

“How do we do it in a way where we as storytellers also can get behind it and spend the next two-plus years of our lives bringing something to life that we believe in? That doesn’t leave a bad taste in our mouths? And that’s why recasting was never really a consideration, to be honest.

“Let’s use this energy and tell a story that could honestly help us in the healing process, and potentially help audiences when they watch it kind of come to grips with what happened, and also see a path forward, and also see that it’s not just about the loss, it’s about transformation and renewal.”

Wakanda Forever will honor Boseman while delivering a new Black Panther story

Ryan Coogler, the writer and director of Black Panther and Wakanda Forever, further elaborated on what it meant to make such a massive MCU movie without the star.

Shuri (Letitia Wright) in the first Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer.
Shuri (Letitia Wright) in the first Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer. Image source: Marvel Studios

“That was the work, actually,” Coogler told io9. “Trying to figure out a way that the theme could be dealt with and simultaneously ever-present while delivering upon what we wanted to deliver on, which is a heart-racing geopolitical thriller slash action movie. We wanted it to be those things, but also work as a believable drama, a believable character study about the concept of loss and how complicated it is to navigate among other things.”

You can see the interviews in full over at io9. Wakanda Forever hits theaters on November 11th, which is when we’ll meet the new Black Panther.

More Marvel coverage: For more MCU news, visit our Marvel guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.