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Marvel’s Kevin Feige Explained Why Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa Wasn’t Recast for ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

image: Film Frame ©Marvel Studios 2018 Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER..T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)

Wakanda Forever, which hits theaters in November, is the much anticipated sequel to Black Panther, which became one of the most successful and beloved films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when it released in 2018.

Sadly, during the time between films, Academy Award-nominated actor Chadwick Boseman passed away from colon cancer—a pain that rippled through many, from those who knew the actor personally and those who fell in love with him playing Black Panther’s T’Challa, the first African superhero in mainstream comics. We’ve known for a while that the character would not be recast, and instead, the story will continue on with the female characters we were already introduced to.

In a recent interview with Empire magazine, Kevin Feige, the overseer of the MCU, explained why the role was not recast. “It just felt like it was much too soon to recast,” he explained. “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 [Black Panther and Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler] poured that into the story.”

While many understand this, there have always been some who have wanted the character to be recast because of the legacy of T’Challa as a character. To that, I would say the human element is more important. It took almost 20 years for Superman to be back on the big screen again following Christopher Reeve’s accident. When George Reeves was killed in 1959, we didn’t get a proper television Superman until Lois & Clark.

Yes, T’Challa as a character may be bigger than one man, but Chadwick brough that character to life, stepped into the bigness of that and swallowed his pain in order to do it well until the day he died. He gave us so much of himself. So yes, we can mourn him awhile. Death may not be permanent in comics, but we don’t get that same reset. In a few years, when we have really moved on, yes, there can be a conversation about a new Black Panther who carries his name, but for now, I’m happy to let the women of the franchise take center stage.

I think Chadwick would have liked that.

(via Empire, featured image: Disney/Marvel)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.