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‘You do what’s best for the story’: M’Baku Almost Became Black Panther But Disney Chose Shuri

M'Baku Almost Became Black Panther But Disney Chose Shuri

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which is a sequel to Black Panther (2018), moves forward with the story following the death of Chadwick Boseman by colon cancer. The plot narrates King T’Challa’s death from an unnamed disease. While the disease can be cured by the heart-shaped herb, the King of Wakanda dies before his sister Shuri can synthetically recreate it. One year later, when threatened by Namor’s kingdom, Shuri ingests the synthetically created herb and becomes the next Black Panther.

However, Shuri wasn’t the first person chosen to be the next Black Panther. The characters of Nakia as well as M’Baku were given consideration to be the next Black Panther initially.

Black Panther FandomWire
Black Panther

Also Read: “He was Black Panther to everyone”: Black Panther 2 Scene Reveals Heart Wrenching Scene of Nakia and Okoye Addressing Chadwick Boseman’s King T’Challa Passing Away

M’Baku was considered to be the next Black Panther

Following Chadwick Boseman‘s death in 2020 from colon cancer, it was a mystery what would happen with the character of Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While some believed the character will be recast, it was also thought that Boseman was too precious to just be replaced by someone else to be the next T’Challa.

Letitia Wright carries forth the legacy of the Black Panther
Letitia Wright carries forth the legacy of the Black Panther

However, after considering M’Baku to be the successor to the late king of Wakanda, Shuri was chosen to lead the mantle against Namor and his army. Joe Robert Cole said, who was the writer for Black Panther 2, said:

“And where do you go after the film in terms of those characters. M’Baku certainly was someone that got kicked around a little bit. I think you’re correct because in the comics, Shuri is Black Panther and there’s a natural organicness, I guess is the best way to say it, to her becoming Panther. But you kick the tires on all sorts of ideas. And you just want to make the best decision and do what’s best for the story.”

Besides M’Baku, Cole revealed even Nakia was a name revolving while choosing the next Black Panther. “That got kicked around! Her name got kicked around for sure.”

Also Read: “They don’t need to tell us how to process grief”: Black Panther 2 Re-Ignites Recasting King T’Challa After Chadwick Boseman, Claim The Character is Larger Than the Late Actor

The decision to choose Shuri was supported by the comic storyline where she becomes the next Black Panther too.

How would’ve M’Baku or Nakia fared as the next Black Panther?

Despite choosing Shuri as the next Black Panther, it was revealed there were discussions and considerations regarding the other characters who could succeed T’Challa as the protector. Those characters were M’Baku, who is currently the King of Wakanda, and Nakia, the love interest of T’Challa.

Winston Duke as M'Baku
Winston Duke as M’Baku

While Shuri was the best decision to take over the mantle of Black Panther, M’Baku and Nakia would’ve handled the responsibility that comes with being the next Black Panther well.

While M’Baku’s first appearance was that of a nemesis to T’Challa who had his eyes on the throne, he went on to defeat Killmonger alongside Black Panther. His dialogues as well as Winston Duke’s magnetic presence on the screen made M’Baku’s character well-loved by the fans. Nakia, who acted as a love interest to King T’Challa, possessed grace in the way she carried herself, and her history as a spy assured the character’s toughness.

Also Read: Black Panther 2 Latest Trailer Breakdown Reveals a Different Suit, Fans Convinced Shuri is Not the Only Person Donning the Vibranium Armor

It would have been very interesting to watch either of them be the nation’s protector as Black Panther in the wake of mourning their former king’s loss, considering the relationship they had with him.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is out in theaters and soon will be streaming on Disney+.

Source: Rolling Stone

Written by Saif Madre