‘Black Panther’ fans theorize on how ‘Wakanda Forever’ addresses T’Challa

Chadwick Boseman in character as T’Challa
Image via Marvel Studios

As the highly anticipated release of Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever approaches, some MCU fans are letting their imaginations run away with them as they mull over how the film will treat King T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman) storyline in light of the actor’s tragic passing in 2020.

The discussion arose on the Marvel Studios subreddit when Unthgod asked other Black Panther enthusiasts to weigh in on how they think the sequel will handle the loss of its star.

After quietly battling colon cancer for several years, Boseman succumbed to complications from the disease on Aug. 28, 2020 at the age of 43. In the aftermath of his passing, fans made it clear that they did not want to see the role of King T’Challa recast with another actor, nor did they wish to see a CGI rendition of him. Instead, they are hoping that the studio will treat his legacy with dignity and respect as the story of Wakanda continues to unfold.

The general consensus in the subreddit is that the sequel should begin in the same way as the first film, with the king meeting an untimely end.

Another Redditor pointed out that it was improbable for the young monarch/superhero to pass away from natural causes and suggested that the writers choose a more plausible explanation.

Legitimate Health 29 agreed that the film should begin with T’Challa passing away but felt that the best approach is not to get into the details of how and why.

Redditor Antimilkman believes that the studio will leave the door open regarding T’Challa’s fate. Instead of opening the film with the monarch’s demise, he imagines that he will go missing in action. T’Challa’s absence will cause great confusion and conflict among his peers, which will be used to drive the storyline of the sequel.

It remains to be seen how the loss of Chadwick Boseman will be dealt with in the film. So far, little is known about the plot of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Earlier this year, Marvel Studios showed a 70-minute promotional film at Cinema Con confirming that several members of the original cast appear in the sequel, including Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), Shuri (Letiticia Wright), and Okoye (Danai Gurira) appear in the film. Several leaks suggest that some of the Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You) and Tenoch Huerta (Narcos: Mexico) will be among the newcomers to the franchise.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled for theatrical release on Nov. 11, 2022.