Following Chadwick Boseman’s passing in August 2020, there was talk about if T’Challa would be recast for the next Black Panther movie. Marvel Studios ultimately decided against both that and digitally recreating the character, and instead someone else will take on the Black Panther mantle. Lupin Nyong’o is among the Black Panther actors who are back for Wakanda Forever, and she’s shared her strong reaction to the people who wanted to see T’Challa recast.
As has been revealed in the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailers, T’Challa died in the period between Avengers: Endgame and the upcoming Marvel movie. It’s hard to say at this point whether we’ll learn the circumstances behind his death or if that will be kept deliberately vague, but as Lupita Nyong’o, who plays Nakia, explained to THR, not only is that not the point of the sequel, but she also simply can’t get her head around another actor taking over as T’Challa as an alternative, something that many fans have petitioned for online. As she put it:
Director Ryan Coogler told the same publication that prior to Chadwick Boseman’s death, the Black Panther 2 script he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole was “very much rooted in T’Challa’s perspective,” particularly his evolution as a leader. While recastings are hardly uncommon in the MCU (just look as Harrison Ford reportedly taking over as Thunderbolt Ross from the late William Hurt), Lupin Nyong’o supports Marvel’s decision to not hire another actor to play T’Challa, who’d previously appeared in Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. To her, Boseman and T’Challa go hand in hand, so even though this is a character who’s existed in the comics for decades, it wouldn’t have felt right in the actress’ mind for the shoes of her late work colleague to be filled by another person.
Luptia Nyong’o’s comment follows almost a month after Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige explained that he and the other top Marvel brass felt it was “much too soon” to recast T’Challa because the world is “still processing the loss” of Chadwick Boseman. Maybe there will come a time when an actor is tapped to play a T’Challa from another universe, but as far as the MCU franchise’s main T’Challa is concerned, his story is done. Now there’s a new Black Panther on the block, and the latest Wakanda Forever trailer confirmed it is a woman who has taken over as Wakanda’s defender. However, her identity continues to be kept secret as we move closer to Wakanda Forever’s arrival.
All will be revealed when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever starts playing on the silver screen November 11. You can prepare for the sequel by watching the prior Black Panther-related movies with your Disney+ subscription.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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