Yesterday a bunch of new Marvel and Disney projects were announced at something called Disney Investor Day. Near the end of the presentation (which had Star Wars nerds jizzing from their pores [ew, I’m so sorry, everyone]), Marvel boss Kevin Feige paid tribute to the dearly departed Chadwick Boseman, who passed away from cancer at the way-too-young age of 43. Kevin also confirmed that the studio has no intention of recasting Chadwick’s role of T’Challa in the upcoming Black Panther sequel.
“I wanted to acknowledge the devastating loss of a dear friend and member of the Marvel Studios family,” Feige said. “Chadwick Boseman was an immensely talented actor and an inspirational individual who affected all of our lives professionally and personally. His portrayal of T’Challa the Black Panther is iconic and transcends iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past.”
Feige continued, “To honor the legacy that Chad helped us build through his portrayal of the king of Wakanda, we want to continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film.”
So far we don’t know anything about the plot of the sequel, or who will take over for T’Challa as the new Black Panther. But the film will be written and directed by Ryan Coogler, who also wrote and directed the first one.
This news is a relief. I was scared the suits would replace him with a hologram or digital double (this was a real rumor). Or recast like they did with Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or Becky on Roseanne. “Saaay, T’Challa, you look sorta different. Didja change your hair??” Scarlett Johansson turns and winks to the cameras, “Nope, same ol’ Black Panther. Wakanda for life, you guys!”