Multiple rumors and speculations are pouring all over the web again, regarding Regé-Jean Page, saying that the Bridgerton star is taking on a lead role in Black Panther 2. Page played Duke of Hastings in the critically acclaimed Netflix romance drama, gaining worldwide praise for his role. However, his recent exit from the role and departure from the second season of the show has once again sparked rumors of his Black Panther casting.
But take that with a huge grain of salt. Notorious gossip site Crazy Days and Nights dropped whispers that Regé-Jean Page was joining Black Panther 2 way back in late January. Nothing more ever came of this rumor until it was announced that the Duke of Hastings wouldn't be appearing in Bridgerton.
That provides a nice link to this rumor. But the fact is, Bridgerton works as an anthology series. Each season is based on one of Julia Quinn novels. The Duke of Hastings does not appear in the second book. His character arc was wrapped. And from the start, before he became a sensation and fan-favorite, Regé-Jean Page was never contracted for more episodes. So it's unlikely that he isn't appearing in Bridgerton Season 2 simply because he joined Marvel. But it's not also entirely out of the question. Is it?
Black Panther was immortalized by the pleasing and delightful portrayal of the character by Chadwick Boseman, who first played Wakandan warrior and king T'Challa in Captain America: Civil War. He then reprised the role in his Academy-Award winning and Best Picture-nominee Black Panther, and then again in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. It was announced during the 2019 D23 Expo that Boseman would once again wear the classic vibranium black suit in Black panther II.
However, Boseman tragically passed away after battling cancer for five years in August 2020, leaving everyone in shock and despair as he has kept his condition hidden. This pushed Black Panther 2 back in the MCU slate of releases indefinitely, until Kevin Feige confirmed at the 2020 Disney Investors Day Event that Boseman's character, T'Challa won't be recast and the studio would be rewriting Black Panther 2. If these crazy rumors pan out, Regé-Jean Page is not playing T'Challa and instead will be playing an entirely new MCU character. But that is a pretty big 'IF'.
It's very unlikely, given the facts surrounding his departure, that Regé-Jean Page is leaving Bridgerton specifically for the big-budget Marvel Studios venture. He is currently involved in The Russo Brothers' (director-duo who helmed four MCU films including Avengers: Endgame) The Gray Man and two more projects, one of which is the big budget reboot of Dungeons and Dragons for Hasbro.
But the actor has got what it takes to play a superhero. His eccentric and charismatic portrayal of Simon Basset has garnered him tremendous praise, making him a front-runner in award nominations, starting with one for Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series, which he lost to Ozark actor and director Jason Bateman. Earlier this year, Regé-Jean Page became part of another casting rumor when his name started circling speculations concerning the next portrayal of James Bond. It's unclear who will take on Bond's 007 responsibilities from Daniel Craig, but since the idea of having a person of color in the role has been highly appreciated, if it comes to it, Regé-Jean Page would fit that role too.
Black Panther's storyline in the comics eventually see his sister Shuri becoming the protector of Wakanda. Even Marvel Studios had similar plans with the character in future. But as of now, Letitia Wright, who plays Shuri in the MCU has a lot of character development to undergo. Her appearances have been amazing but they have been of a scientist and tech expert and not of someone who's ready to become Black Panther. No doubt fans would love to watch Letitia Wright's Shuri as the titular superheroine, but not this early in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Black Panther II awaits a July 2022 release with most of the previous cast members returning with director Ryan Coogler once again helming directorial responsibilities. It's unclear if the film would be a part of the pre-announced slate of MCU Phase 4, or would spawn into Phase 5, along with Mahershala Ali-starrer Blade. But fans can expect a casting confirmation soon, probably during San Diego Comic-Con event this year. Apart from the series, Ryan Coogler is developing a Disney+ series around Wakandan tales from the comics, thus, further expanding the roots of the technology-rich nation in the MCU.