wiBlack Panther: Wakanda Forever did its best to pay tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa after the actor and character's death, but one star is convinced that the MCU's original Black Panther will return.
Marvel Studios made the difficult decision to not recast T'Challa after Boseman tragically passed away, with Black Panther 2 largely serving as a tribute to his memory from start to finish. This came after memorable appearances in four Marvel Studios outings from 2016 to 2019, although Marvel's call to not have anybody else play T'Challa didn't rub the entire fanbase the right way.
Warning - the rest of this article contains spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
While the movie ended with Nakia revealing her and T'Challa's son, who was also named T'Challa, many didn't feel that this was enough with regard to keeping the character alive. This led to social media users heavily pushing the "Recast T'Challa" movement to the forefront, expressing their anger and disappointment that another actor didn't take over adult T'Challa instead of the character passing away in-universe.
But after the movie's impressive theatrical debut, one of Boseman's co-stars expressed his feelings that fans haven't seen the last of T'Challa's Black Panther, even if it's not from Boseman.
T'Challa Will Live On, Says Black Panther 2 Star
Speaking with Esquire, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Winston Duke shared his belief that, eventually, another actor will play T'Challa in future Black Panther movies made down the road.
Duke proclaimed that there's "no way they'll never remake Black Panther" for future audiences, asserting that the "saga" of T'Challa will continue with another performer:
“There’s no way they’ll never remake Black Panther in the future. There’s no way that the saga and interpretation of T’Challa, King of Wakanda, will end. He is canon. So trust that it’ll come. But allow [Black Panther: Wakanda Forever] to be a human experience.”
Duke spoke about the topic in a previous interview on the Jemele Hill is Unbothered podcast, sharing his thoughts that the Black Panther role "was heavily defined by the actor that did it” before Chadwick Boseman's passing:
“I think for this iteration of Black Panther, it’s very hard for me to really comment on something like that. Because, I’m of the mind that this is Chadwick’s role. Chadwick created this and ‘Black Panther’ wouldn’t be the same without Chadwick Boseman, who stood for the things that he stood for. When you cast a person, you’re also casting their experiences, you’re casting their politics, you’re casting their all of these thing. ‘Black Panther’ was heavily defined by the actor that did it, in my opinion.”
However, the M'Baku star also kept the door open to "multiple dimensions" and "possible reimaginations" being used for T'Challa's return in the MCU. He also noted the "level of trust that (fans) should have for a comic book world" that could potentially bring another take on T'Challa in future stories:
“So, I feel, as-is, the decision that’s been made to keep T’Challa, Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa is one that has a lot of nobility in it. But you also have to… there’s a level of trust that I think we should all have for a comic book world. (laughs) For a comic book world that has multiple dimensions and parallel dimensions and multiple stories and possible futures and possible reimaginations in the past. Just, multiple universes that they’re actually experimenting with. So I feel, my level of trust is that the medium can support a diversity of interpretations that can actually make us all happy.”
When Will T'Challa's Black Panther Come Back?
Although Black Panther 2 served as a tribute to Chadwick Boseman's legacy as the Wakandan warrior was laid to rest, the MCU still has a new version of T'Challa to keep up with as the young prince grows and evolves into his role as a leader and hero.
But looking ahead to the future of Marvel movies, potentially long after the MCU is finished, Winston Duke seems certain that the Black Panther will be brought back for a new interpretation that lives on for a new group of fans. Heroes are rebooted quite regularly, as shown in recent years with multiple takes on Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, so there's no reason to believe that this hero won't get another round of stories with a brand-new cast later in the 21st century.
For now, Marvel Studios already has plans for a Black Panther 3 in the works, although it may not debut until later in the Multiverse Saga or after it concludes in 2026.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now playing in theaters worldwide.