- Black Panther 2 will be a difficult Marvel movie to make in light of the untimely death of Chadwick Boseman.
- Disney and Marvel have not revealed how the sequel will deal with the loss of the beloved actor, but fans are already asking the studios not to recast the role of T’Challa.
- Black Panther 2 is currently set for release on May 6th, 2022, but that release date will undoubtedly be delayed in light of the coronavirus pandemic and Boseman’s passing.
News that Chadwick Boseman died after battling cancer for four years shocked the world a couple of weeks ago. Few people knew the actor had been fighting the terrible illness even as he was shooting some of his most iconic movies, Black Panther among them. A report a few days ago said that Boseman was hopeful he would get better, and he would have started preparing for Black Panther 2 this month. The sequel is not officially included in Phase 4, as Marvel announced Black Panther 2 separately with an initial release date of May 6th, 2022. Factors like the novel coronavirus pandemic and the untimely death of Boseman might force Disney to delay the film and give it more time to deal with the loss. Marvel has a few options at its disposal, but it’s too early to address the matter publicly. Fans, however, already think they know how Black Panther 2 should proceed.
One of the obvious choices would be to recast a different actor as T’Challa/Black Panther. But it’s unlikely that fans would appreciate such a move. It would also be incredibly difficult for a different actor to accept the role. Boseman is T’Challa, and his Black Panther should be honored by not giving the part to a different actor, even if Boseman’s passing causes issues for Marvel’s plans. The character was also supposedly going to appear in other crossovers in the future, not just the Black Panther sequel.
The alternative is for Marvel to pass the Black Panther mantle to someone else. T’Challa’s sister Shuri is the most obvious choice. Played by Letitia Wright, the character made an impression in the first movie and she appeared in both Infinity War and Endgame. She can easily become the new Black Panther in the upcoming Avengers lineup. After all, Shuri does get to be Black Panther in the comics, and Marvel would likely have steered in that direction anyway in the future. Marvel could always try to make things interesting and have someone else become Black Panther until Shuri can take over. As SyFy explains, Shuri’s path to becoming Black Panther isn’t a straightforward journey in the comics.
Whatever Marvel chooses to do, it will still have to explain what happened to T’Challa. The character was alive at the end of Endgame, getting ready to lead Wakanda after five years of absence. Marvel could have the character die or disappear off-screen. Another option is to have Black Panther die right at the beginning of the sequel, during some action scene.
A post-credits death scene in a different movie that precedes Black Panther 2 might provide the king an even better exit. As we already know, T’Challa is quite a skilled Black Panther and a formidable adversary. The villain who kills Black Panther would have to be quite formidable as well. By having Black Panther die in a post-credits scene closer to the release of the sequel, Marvel could both honor Boseman’s epic representation of T’Challa and advance the story forward. The post-credits scene would not only help build a new villain’s arc, but it would also set the stage for Shuri to take over as the leader of her people in the sequel.
This wouldn’t even need a digital recreation of T’Challa, which would be a controversial decision to make. Boseman’s regular stunt double could handle the Black Panther action, and we wouldn’t even have to see T’Challa’s face or hear any dialogue. It would be a heartbreaking moment that audiences wouldn’t necessarily expect and offer them a chance to say goodbye to Boseman’s T’Challa before the Black Panther 2 premiere.
Speculation aside, Marvel has plenty of time and imagination to figure out a way to honor Boseman’s T’Challa and move Black Panther forward.
Of course, fans have already taken to social media and asked Disney not to recast Boseman’s role, reports Looper. Others have started online petitions asking Marvel not to recast T’Challa, and instead turn Shuri into Black Panther for the sequel:
Chadwick Boseman can never be replaced. He IS Black Panther. No actor should take on this role in the light of his devastating passing. Shuri should take up the mantle of Black Panther, as she has done in the comics. Please reimagine Black Panther II in this way as a tribute to this incredible man.
With all that aside, it’s unclear how central Black Panther will be for the MCU’s overall storyline in light of Boseman’s passing. But the superhero can still show up in a variety of crossovers, regardless of who gets to wear the Black Panther armor and lead Wakanda.