After Chadwick Boseman's passing, the status of his Marvel Cinematic Universe character has been in question.
Speculation on how Marvel Studios would handle the future of T'Challa has made its way around the internet for months, but Feige reaffirmed the status of Wakanda's King at Disney's Investor Day.
Kevin Feige confirmed that the role of T'Challa will not be recast in Black Panther II:
“I wanted to acknowledge the devastating loss of a dear friend and member of the Marvel Studios family. Chadwick Boseman was an immensely talented actor and an inspirational individual who affected all of our lives professionally and personally. His portrayal of T’Challa the Black Panther is iconic and transcends iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past.
"To honor the legacy that Chad helped us build through his portrayal of the king of Wakanda, we want to continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film."
- Kevin Feige, Marvel President
In the announcement, Feige also revealed Black Panther II will hit theaters on July 8, 2022. No further details were provided aside from Black Panther director Ryan Coogler helming the sequel.
'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' was rumored to be casting actors to play mercenary and diplomat roles in the film.
Martin Freeman teased that fans are in for something truly special in 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.'
Martin Freeman claimed that the plot of 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' is "odd at parts," but director Ryan Coogler kept telling him that it is going to work.
WHAT THIS MEANS
While fans have speculated Marvel will retire T'Challa's character in the wake of Boseman's passing, it is refreshing to get official confirmation of this via Feige himself. Both recastings and digital doubles were rumored to fulfill the role of Wakanda's King, but we now know the Black Panther legacy will continue without our beloved T'Challa.
Plot details on Black Panther II are extremely thin right now, and it remains to be seen how Marvel will retire T'Challa. Out of respect for Boseman and his family, it feels most appropriate to speculate on the future of the Black Panther mantle than the handling of the character of T'Challa. Let's dive into that.
One popular idea has been to give Letitia Wright's Shuri the mantle and continue the franchise with her in the titular role. Fans have backed this idea from the get-go, but Wright's status has recently been questioned due to some suspicious Twitter likes surrounding the Wakandan sequel. We are still over 18 months away from Black Panther II landing in theaters, and likely will not get much new information until we are a lot closer to its release date.
Black Panther II is due to hit theaters on July 8, 2022.