Some Marvel fans are petitioning to have Disney recast T'Challa in Black Panther 2 to retain the character's cultural signifigance. Among the massive pool of superheroes within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa stood out both during his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War and then in his fantastic portrayal as the lead role in Black Panther. Chadwick Boseman's terrific acting performance, powered by Ryan Coogler's artistic direction and subtle inclusion of the character in the MCU made the film become a blockbuster hit at the box-office and garner worldwide critical acclaim. The film's representation of the significant history of a previously suppressed community in the West landed Marvel Studios multiple Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture for producer Kevin Feige.
However, the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman last year threw everyone into shock. Chadwick had been battling cancer since 2016 and shot six major films while undergoing treatment. Since he kept his condition hidden from the rest of the world, his untimely passing came as a shock to Marvel Studios and director Ryan Coogler, who had already begun writing Black Panther II with Boseman's T'Challa as the lead.
But, owing to T'Challa's portrayal by Boseman, and the actor's legacy defined by his portrayal of the character, as well as his recent performances, Marvel Studios' head Kevin Feige confirmed during Disney's Investor's Day event that T'Challa won't be recast and that the sequel will dive back into Wakanda through the lens of a new character.
But, some fans have resorted to online petition filing platform Change.org to gain support for recasting T'Challa for Black Panther II. Though it's difficult to fill in Boseman's shoes playing Black Panther, the petition's organizers argue that T'Challa's presence in the film is significant to the cultural heritage Black Panther honored. Justifying their petition, the organizers stated,
"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."
It's true that Black Panther embodied African culture and its significance, and the film did great justice in representing it to the world through cinematic enchantment. The character has just made debut in the franchise and there are tonnes of stories about T'Challa to tell. Moreover, bringing in a new actor may also be a good call to carry on both Boseman's and T'Challa's legacy on-screen.
For now, there seems to be no plan to recast T'Challa's character as Kevin Feige has made official announcement in this regard. Also, Ryan Coogler has confirmed that he his rewriting Black Panther II without T'Challa, which he deemed is the "most difficult professional task" he had ever had to execute.
Black Panther II will release as part of Phase 4 of Marvel Cinematic Universe, on July 8, 2022. The film's official cast is yet to be announced but Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, and Florence Kusumba will most probably reprise their respective roles; however there hasn't been any confirmed announcement from the Studio s' end.
Chadwick Boseman has been immortalized by his recent award-winning performance in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, for which he has won a posthumous Golden Globe for Best Actor - Drama, and has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. As for Boseman's legacy within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he will once again reprise his role of T'Challa in a voiceover for MCU's first animated anthology series for Disney+, What If!.... This news comes from change.org.