How Chadwick Boseman’s What If…? Appearances Were Influencing Black Panther 2 Before His Death

T'Challa in What If...?

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After a series of delays, Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is finally in full swing. In addition to the movie installments, the MCU is also expanding through TV shows on Disney+. And it runs out that Chadwick Boseman’s appearance in the animated series What If…? was influencing Black Panther 2 before his death.

Chadwick Boseman shockingly died last summer, with fans and loved ones still very much mourning that loss. But he was able to record his dialogue for What If…? before passing away, which will serve as his final appearance in the MCU. Although it turns out the animated project was factoring into Black Panther’s sequel. As Kevin Feige recently shared,

He came in, he read the episode that airs 24 hours from now, and came back and said ‘I really love this version of T’Challa.’ And we had a conversation after that with Ryan [Coogler] about 'How do we get some of this voice,' none of the storyline, but just some of that voice into Panther 2. Now of course it's remarkably sad and bittersweet, but I'm very happy we have it and I'm very happy he did it for us. I'm excited for the fans to see that as well.

Talk about FOMO. It remains to be seen exactly how Chadwick Boseman’s signature Marvel character will change throughout the course of What If…?, but it looks like the experience recording inspired Boseman, Feige, and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler to discuss the ways they could bring some of that T’Challa variant to the upcoming sequel.

Kevin Feige’s comments to Variety come from his appearance at the premiere of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. But since he’s the architect of the overall MCU, Feige also fielded questions about other projects within the franchise. Fans are super curious about Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which is gearing up to begin filming. But obviously that sequel would have been quite different if Chadwick Boseman was still with us.

Marvel fans can re-watch Chadwick Boseman’s tenure in the MCU on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

Unfortunately, Chadwick Boseman never got to bring some of his What If…? energy to the big screen with Black Panther’s sequel. He passed away in August of 2020, shocking his generations of fans out there. Ryan Coogler and company are tasked with honoring his legacy in Wakanda Forever, although the contents of the Marvel blockbuster are currently a complete mystery. Coogler went so far to call it the most difficult task of his professional career, which makes a great deal of sense.

Since almost nothing is known about the events of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, there are a ton of fan theories about what Ryan Coogler’s sophomore Marvel installment might include. Fans are especially interested in seeing who would be taking on the mantle and ruling Wakanda. Some of the most popular choices include Shuri, Okoye, or M’Baku.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is currently expected to arrive in theaters on July 8th, 2022. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.