Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be released in theatres just over a month after the first installment, nearly five years later. During that period, Chadwick Boseman, the star of Black Panther, tragically died after a long fight with cancer in 2020.
The actor’s death has placed the fate of his popular Marvel character in jeopardy. That is, until the first trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever debuted, confirming that T’Challa chose Boseman. To be honest, they were put in a difficult position for the production of the sequel, but they finally made a commendable decision.
Winston Duke opens up about possible T’Challa recasts
For a time, it was thought that recasting the part would be the wisest course of action for the series. However, Marvel has stated unequivocally that “it just felt like it was much too soon” to cast another actor in the role. The cast of Wakanda Forever has also spoken out about a possible recast, with many suggesting that now is not the time.
Winston Duke, who plays M’Baku in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, has spoken in an interview with Jemele Hill on the possibility of recasting T’Challa in the aftermath of Boseman’s death. “I think for this iteration of Black Panther, it’s very hard for me to really comment on something like that, because, I’m of the mind that this is Chadwick’s role.”
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 4, 2022
However, the actor goes on to suggest that the fantasy nature of the Marvel universe may allow T’Challa to return, albeit played by a different actor and not a direct recast of Boseman’s part.
“So, I feel, as-is, the decision that’s been made to keep T’Challa, Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa is one that has a lot of nobility in it. But you also have to… there’s a level of trust that I think we should all have for a comic book world. (laughs) For a comic book world that has multiple dimensions and parallel dimensions and multiple stories and possible futures and possible reimaginations in the past. Just, multiple universes that they’re actually experimenting with. So I feel, my level of trust is that the medium can support a diversity of interpretations that can actually make us all happy.”
Not long ago, Kevin Feige discussed the decision to go without recasting T’Challa. In an interview, he stated that it simply seemed like the appropriate thing to do at the time.
Should T’Challa be recast for Black Panther?
For the time being, Chadwick Boseman will be the sole incarnation of T’Challa in the MCU. However, as Winston Duke alluded to in the quote above, this may not always be the case. The MCU is now a multiversal franchise, and anything is possible. While it may be prudent to allow T’Challa to be Boseman’s character, for the time being, this could change in the future.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever intends to honor Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa while also delving into the ramifications of the character’s death in the MCU. Boseman himself may have wished for the franchise to move on to a different version of the character. His brother has stated that the actor would have preferred that the role be recast.
With Avengers: Secret Wars in the works now with a grand multiversal epic in 2025, a new T’Challa may be unveiled to audiences in the coming years. But, for the time being, Chadwick Boseman will be the sole T’Challa in the MCU. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be released in theatres on November 11, 2022