Brother of the late Black Panther (2018) actor Chadwick Boseman is speaking out against Marvel Studios’ decision to kill off T’Challa in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Derick Boseman is joining a growing number of Marvel fans who are demanding that the role of T’Challa be recast in Black Panther 2 and beyond– and he’s certain Chadwick Boseman would agree.
Marvel Cinematic Universe icon Chadwick Boseman died in 2020 at 43 after a prolonged battle with colon cancer. The actor’s performance as the King of Wakanda was wildly popular, leading Black Panther to a worldwide box office haul of more than a billion dollars in 2018. Boseman — who also portrayed legendary Black figures James Brown and Jackie Robinson — is universally celebrated for embodying a positive role model for African American children. The financial success of Black Panther was also notable for its impact on Hollywood, influencing studios to recognize the power of positive Black representation.
Chadwick Boseman’s significant effect on pop culture and Black culture is certainly not lost on brother Derrick Boseman. Speaking to TMZ, Derrick Boseman explained that the lack of positive representation in film and television for Black children necessitates the need for the character of T’Challa in the most prominent film franchise in the world — the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Derrick Boseman opined that Marvel Studios — in killing off the character of T’Challa — was effectively depriving Black kids of a role model.
Following Chadwick Boseman’s death in 2020, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced that T’Challa would not be recast. Marvel VP of Development Nate More described the conversation he had with Black Panther director Ryan Coogler that led to this decision, saying,
“I think we all feel so much of T’Challa in the MCU on the screen … is tied to Chadwick’s performance.”
However, many Marvel fans feel that the character of T’Challa is bigger than any one actor — even a star as prolific as Chadwick Boseman. A change.org petition is calling for the recasting of the T’Challa role in the upcoming Black Panther sequel, Wakanda Forever (2022). The petition has more than 45,000 signatures. The petition asks that fans sign in the hopes that Marvel Studios will “…fulfill the role that Chadwick Boseman worked so hard for the world to see.”
From the change.org petition:
“If Marvel Studios removes T’Challa, it would be at the expense of the audiences (especially Black boys and men) who saw themselves in him. That also includes the millions of fans who were inspired by the character as well.
By not recasting, it could stifle the opportunity for one of the most popular, leading Black superheroes to add on to their legacy. The #1 way to kill a legend, is to stop telling their story. “
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
The filming of Marvel’s Black Panther sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever from writer and director Ryan Coogler has been surrounded by controversy since it began filming in 2021. Letitia Wright — the actress who portrayed T’Challa’s sister and vibranium tech expert Shuri in the original film — is rumored to step into T’Challa’s shoes in the sequel. However, reports indicate some on-set drama surrounding Wright’s rumored anti-vaccination views.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever directed by Ryan Coogler will debut in theaters on November 11, 2022. The film stars returning cast Letitia Wright (Shuri), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Winston Duke (M’Baku), Daniel Kaluuya (W’Kabi), Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Florence Kasumba (Ayo), and Angela Bassett (Ramonda). The sequel is reportedly set to resume production next month in Atlanta after an on-set injury to Letitia Wright led to a lengthy hiatus.
Chadwick Boseman appeared as T’Challa in Captain America: Civil War (2016), Black Panther (2018), Avengers: Infinity War (2019), and Avengers: Endgame (2019). Boseman also portrayed an alternate timeline version of T’Challa in Marvel’s What If…?! series that imagines T’Challa leaving Wakanda and exploring the galaxy as Star-Lord.
Do you think T’Challa should be recast in Marvel’s Black Panther sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever? Let us know in the comments!