It's official: The Marvel Cinematic Universe will not be getting a new T'Challa. It has been confirmed that Disney will not be recasting the role for Black Panther 2. Chadwick Boseman, who originated the role, passed away unexpectedly after a battle with cancer earlier this year. To honor Boseman's legacy, the sequel will move forward without another actor taking on the role. The news was confirmed via the Disney Twitter account with the following message.

"Black Panther 2, opening July 8, 2022, is being written & directed by Ryan Coogler. Honoring Chadwick Boseman's legacy & portrayal of T'Challa, Marvel Studios will not recast the character, but will explore the world of Wakanda & the rich characters introduced in the first film."
RELATED: Black Panther II Working Title Leaks, So What Does It Mean?

Work had been underway on the sequel prior to Chadwick Boseman's passing. As mentioned, director Ryan Coogler is set to return to the franchise. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige had this to say about it during the investor day presentation.

"I wanted to acknowledge the devastating loss of a dear friend and member of the Marvel Studios family. Chadwick Boseman was an immensely talented actor and an inspirational individual who affected all of our lives professionally and personally. His portrayal of T'Challa the Black Panther is iconic and transcends iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel's past. It's for that reason that we will not recast the character. However, to honor the legacy that Chad helped us build through his portrayal of the king of Wakanda, we want to continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film. Writer/director Ryan Coogler is hard at work on the sequel now, and we'll bring the film to you in theaters July 8, 2022. "

Chadwick Boseman first plates the role in Captain America: Civil War. He then returned to play the part in the 2018 solo movie, Black Panther. Directed by Ryan Coogler, it went on to become a pop culture sensation. It earned widespread critical acclaim and more than $1.3 billion at the global box office, in addition to a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars. Boseman returned to play the part two more times in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, which went on to become the highest-grossing movie in history.

The unexpected passing of Chadwick Boseman rocked Hollywood, as he was one of the most promising talents in the business. Marvel Studios and Disney's decision not to recast the role of T'Challa shows how much respect he had earned. What remains to be seen is what that means for the story. It has been suggested that another character, possibly Letitia Wright's Shuri, could take up the mantle as Wakanda's new Black Panther. In any event, the Disney franchise will continue with a new creative direction.

The sequel is currently expected to begin filming next summer. Plot details remain firmly under wraps. We will be sure to keep you posted as any further details are made available. You can check out the announcement from the Disney Twitter account.