Chadwick Boseman, who plays King T’challa and the titular Black Panther, died in his home from colon cancer. His battle with the disease left the Marvel Cinematic Universe in shock. An outpouring of support is coming to his bereaved family and friends.
Even then, questions of what will happen to his character come to mind. There’s no telling what will happen to the movie franchise he starred before his passing.
Within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), T’Challa has a critical role. He is supposed to headline Black Panther 2, originally coming in 2022. Without Boseman, the second movie is now near-impossible to pull off.
First, the movie succeeded because of Boseman’s impeccable acting chops. His natural fit with the serious and pragmatic T’Challa resulted in box office success. Everyone loved Boseman for it, ensuring that the movie gets a sequel.
Now that the star of the show passed away, the MCU might need to shelf Black Panther 2. Some people are likely to suggest replacing Boseman, and such a move is not unprecedented.
Don Cheadle replaced Terrence Howard as James Rhodes without any word of warning. Mark Ruffalo even took the place of Edward Norton as Bruce Banner in the MCU. Chadwick Boseman, however, is an entirely different story.
With the passing of Chadwick Boseman, fans are unlikely to warm up to a new Black Panther. Reports say that fans don’t want a new T’Challa, as respect to Boseman. To say that the entire MCU, its actors, and fanbase, are mourning is an understatement.
Recasting T’Challa can leave a bad taste in the mouth of viewers. Anyone who takes over Boseman’s role will have gigantic shoes to fill. Even if they have better-acting chops than him, people are unlikely to welcome them.
So far, there are two ways to handle the sudden loss of Boseman in the MCU. First, the MCU would need to tap into the multiverse aspect of the medium. The best point of entry for this is Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.
Doctor Strange is famous for his ability to tap into different multiverses. He can tap into a T’Challa from a different universe, which will make a recast easier.
Another tasteful way to deal with the situation is to pass on the mantle. T’Challa’s sister, Shuri, is a ripe enough character to fit into the story. People love her character, and it also works as a feminist move.
Even then, the sudden passing of Boseman is a blow to the entire MCU. Boseman was born to be Black Panther, and, sadly, fans won’t see him suit up anymore. Wakanda forever.
Images courtesy of Marvel Entertainment/YouTube Screenshot
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