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The Marvel Cinematic Universe contains a ton of characters, but a few stand out as fan favorites. Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa/Black Panther was certainly one of those, immediately capturing the attention of fans in Captain America: Civil War, before starring in Ryan Coogler's acclaimed solo flick. Boseman's death last summer was heartbreaking for friends and fans alike, and now some moviegoers have launched a petition for T'Challa to be recast.
Chadwick Boseman's battle with colon cancer was a private one, so his death was shocking. Black Panther director Ryan Coogler is developing the movie's sequel, and previously stated that he doesn't plan on re-casting or bringing back Boseman for a cameo via visual effects. Coogler has plans to honor the actor in the Marvel blockbuster, although some fans think that continuing T'Challa's journey would be a great way at doing just that.
The petition on Change.org has over 2,000 signatures at the time of writing this story. While it's almost impossible to imagine anyone besides Chadwick Boseman in the role of T'Challa, those fans are hoping to see the beloved character's story continued on the big screen. This might not be what Ryan Coogler is planning for Black Panther 2, but the organizers of the campaign explained their feelings, saying:
As the first Black superhero in mainstream comics and the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), T’Challa is literally Black history. He was created in 1966, during the Civil Rights era, to be the embodiment of positive Black representation. His character was also instrumental in uplifting Black female characters such as Storm, the Dora Milaje, and his own sister Shuri. There is no more positive form of representation in Black culture than strong Black men and women supporting one another. T’Challa’s character was only scratching the surface with his story in the MCU, and there is so much more left to tell.
Given how much Chadwick Boseman's character T'Challa meant to the general public, moving on with the franchise without the Oscar nominated actor is complicated. It's currently unclear what Ryan Coogler and company are planning for Black Panther 2, but there are going to be strong feelings regardless.
Chadwick Boseman's acclaimed tenure in the MCU is currently available on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.
While some fans are hoping that T'Challa's story will continue on the big screen with another actor, it seems unlikely that Ryan Coogler and company would go that route. On top of developing Black Panther 2, Boseman's collaborators are also still mourning his death. The cast and crew have denied any plans to re-cast, and Coogler described diving back into Wakanda without the late actor as the most difficult professional task of his life.
Chadwick Boseman was a real-life hero to many, as young Black moviegoers finally saw themselves represented in the genre. Luckily, there is one more opportunity to witness Boseman playing T'Challa, as he voiced an episode of the upcoming animated series What If...? before his death. His episode will see T'Challa become Guardian of the Galaxy Star-Lord, presumably after being abducted by Yondu.
The next installment in the MCU is Black Widow on July 9th. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your next movie experience.