A ‘Black Panther’ Producer Says Marvel Would Have Canceled ‘Wakanda Forever’ Before Recasting Chadwick Boseman

Once it became clear that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was still moving forward despite the death of Chadwick Boseman, Marvel made the surprising, yet respectful decision to not recast the role of T’Challa for the sequel. When the decision was made back in December 2020, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige simply said that Boseman’s portrayal of the Black Panther is “iconic and transcends iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past.” Only in recent months has Feige elaborated on the recasting decision by explaining that it was “much too soon.”

“The world is still processing the loss of Chad,” Feige told Empire. “And Ryan [Coogler] poured that into the story.”

Turns out, Marvel was not messing around with its commitment to the recasting decision. Black Panther producer Nate Moore shared with io9 that “Marvel probably would have canceled the movie entirely before actually recasting Boseman’s role as T’Challa.”

“[Chadwick’s] passing was sudden. It hit us really hard,” Moore told io9. “And you do have the thought of maybe we should just stop. Certainly, sequels aren’t a mandate. Many movies have existed as one-offs and they’re fantastic. Maybe Black Panther just lives on its own bubble. And then you start to have the other conversation, which is it did mean so much to people. And… even Chad, I think, knew it could mean as much as it did to people while we were making the first one.”

As writer/director Ryan Coogler recently shared, Wakanda Forever had one advantage that helped deal with the challenge of moving forward without Boseman. The story was already about grief. According to Coogler, the original script would’ve focused on T’Challa grappling with his five year absence during the events of Avengers: Endgame.

“He was grieving time he couldn’t get back,” Coogler told Inverse. “Grief was a big part of it.”

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on November 11.

(Via io9)