“‘Black Panther’ Franchise Is Over,” Marvel Leaves Fans Insulted After Aggravating Comments

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Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) and T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) talking in Wakanda

Credit: Marvel Studios

“Wakanda Forever” — or maybe not?

King T'Challa mural in 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel Phase Four has felt long and, on the whole, rather unclear. With theatrical releases becoming stunted at the box office, the exception, of course, is the $2 billion hit Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), and Disney+ shows being attacked before airing, Marvel Studios has faced more criticism in the last 18 months than it has ever before — or so it feels.

And while it was set to be Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023), and then The Marvels (2023) that was set to close out Phase Four, it will now be director Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) that will end this first part of the Multiverse Saga in November this year.

Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa in 'Black Panther'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: ‘Black Panther’ Actor Reacts to Being Cut from ‘Wakanda Forever’

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was a big question mark for audiences awaiting the follow-up to Coogler’s genre-defying first outing with Black Panther (2018). The late Chadwick Boseman’s unfortunate and shocking death in 2020 after suffering from colon cancer left the popular franchise without its lead.

Despite Marvel President Kevin Feige, producer Nate Moore, and others stating early on that Boseman’s role as King T’Challa would not be recast, fans have long wondered how the Marvel Cinematic Universe would handle the tragic passing of Boseman if there was no new actor to step in as the Avenger that first appeared in Captain America: Civil War (2016). Boseman made his debut as T’Challa alongside MCU veterans like Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans’s Captain America.

New Black Panther
Credit: Marvel Studios

The existing cast might offer an answer. Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia, Danai Gurira’s Dora Milaje general Okoye, or Letitia Wright’s sister of T’Challa, Shuri, are the likely choices to take up the role of the next Black Panther, and the teaser trailer released at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) gave only a few suggestions as to what will happen in the Marvel Comics-inspired Black Panther sequel.

It’s obvious from both the trailer and the multiple conversations around the honoring of Boseman’s MCU character that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will honor, or be a tribute, to Boseman. Even with the emotional rendition of “No Woman, No Cry” by Nigerian songstress, Tems, many fans were left startled by the visual erasure of T’Challa from the MCU leading to some calling a boycott against what has been seen as “the biggest attack in Marvel history.”

Shuri on a throne on fire with water flooding in.
Credit: Marvel Studios

And the furor seemingly lives on.

A video from Ty R. (@Rushthewriter) showing Nate Moore being asked about Boseman’s intrinsic connection to T’Challa has caused a stir online with many disagreeing with his description of the character being a “mantle”.

During the audience Q&A, someone asked Marvel Exec Nate Moore about recasting T’Challa.

Here’s part of the question and the full response from Moore

Many users have called Moore out for his analysis that Black Panther is a mantle, when, arguably, it is the character of T’Challa that has made the franchise, in both the comic book Marvel Universe and the live-action movies, what it is today.

Jason (@EscaflowneClown) said:

I love that he asked. More people need to ask this. Black Panther is the first Black hero in mainstream comics history. King T’Challa deserves to be back on screen and thrive across all mediums in the way Peter Parker Spider-man, Bruce Wayne Batman, and Clark Kent Superman do.

@TwinRaw17 echoed the sentiments on the Black Panther mantle view and said:

Wow!! Nate Moore really gave us the mantle response. We know it’s a mantle but no one never cared about a mantle. Like, in 50 years of T’Challa storytelling, 2022 is the first year we are talking about a mantle #RecastTChalla #BlackPantherWakandaForever

Some have even stressed that this could be the end of the Black Panther franchise. Felix (@Grooovy_Fe) said:

Aw they know it’s not going to be received well when you say we know it’s the movie no one wants us to make but it’s the only way we know how. Black Panther franchise is over

It should be noted that Boseman’s family also wished the T’Challa — not just the Black Panther — legacy should be continued in future Marvel movies.

Another user, @LordChickenHawk spliced this recent interview with one from 2018, the year Black Panther was released, to show how the Marvel executive’s stance on T’Challa has changed since Boseman’s passing:

This is the Tale of two different Nate Moore’s one who understands its about T’Challa the other says it’s about the Mantle. 2018 Red Carpet interview vs 2022 Question of recasting. #RecastTChalla #SaveTChalla

Related: ‘Black Panther 2’ Hired Culture Scholars to Change Villain’s Backstory

While all is said and done for the Black Panther sequel, the outcry — that has not only been recent by any means — could see Marvel execs reconsider their stance on T’Challa. After all, the MCU is currently in its self-declared Multiverse Saga, and with Variants abound there could be space in this sprawling universe for another King T’Challa. For now, though, fans may just have to settle for a new Black Panther.

What are your thoughts on the #RecastTChalla movement? Let us know in the comments down below!

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever stars Letitia Wright (Shuri), Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Dominique Thorne (Riri Williams), Angela Bassett (Queen Ramonda), Winston Duke (M’Baku), Florence Kasumba (Ayo), Michaela Coel (Aneka), Martin Freeman (Everett K. Ross), and Tenoch Huerta (Namor).

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