Others Were Eyed For Title of ‘Black Panther’

in Marvel

Shuri (Letitia Wright) holding T'Challa's helmet in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Credit: Marvel Studios

**Spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)**

The death of Chadwick Boseman shocked the world of entertainment. The star of Black Panther (2018), 42 (2013), 21 Bridges (2019), and many more films kept his cancer diagnosis to himself, and a very small group of others, preserving his well deserved privacy, and shouldering the burden while many in Hollywood criticized his weight loss, tired appearance and more. His passing came as a surprise to most everyone, and caused no small stir the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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

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Writers and producers now had to some thinking to do: the lead star of their sequel was gone. Should he be recast, or should someone else take up the mantle? Ultimately, they decided on the latter, opting to turn the second installment in the franchise into a tribute to the late actor, and to his character, T’Challa (Boseman). The question now remained, who would be the one to take up the mantle? Joe Robert Cole, one of the screenwriters who worked on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022), revealed some options they considered early on:

“We would kick around the ideas, and try to extrapolate where the story goes and what’s the most impactful choice — what’s the best journey? 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.”

Winston Duke as M'Baku in Black Panther
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: ‘Black Panther 2’ Director Admits Regret For ‘Wakanda Forever’s Release

We now know that T’challa’s (Boseman) sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright) took up the title of the Black Panther, which Cole said was the most ‘natural’ choice, as her character had done the same thing in Marvel Comics. M’Baku (Winston Duke), and Shuri (Wright) weren’t the only two considered for the new Black Panther however, there was another prominent character in the running! In an offhanded response, Cole also revealed that Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) had been considered as well.

New Black Panther
Credit: Marvel Studios

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) is currently playing in theaters, and stars Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong’o, Tenoch Huerta, Dominique Thorne, and Angela Basset.

Do you think they chose the right successor to T’Challa? Let us know in the comments below!

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