‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ director reveals if recasting T’Challa was ever a real possibility

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

It’s difficult to imagine any loss that has shaken the fabric of the Marvel Cinematic Universe than the death of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman. The actor, who portrayed T’Challa, was universally beloved by fans and his fellow cast members. However, his tragic death did not prevent tens of thousands of fans from demanding that his role as the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda be recast before filming on sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever began.

Now, just over a week before the movie will hit theaters, director and co-writer Ryan Coogler has sat down with bestselling author and host of The Official Black Panther Podcast Ta-Nehisi Coates to speak on his thought processes regarding the aftermath of Boseman’s death, and how or even if the character of T’Challa could be played by another actor.

Coogler prefaced his thoughts on recasting by explaining his responsibilities as a director. “But the true day-to-day of my job is, like, you know, several hundred days of long days, of getting other professionals to believe in ideas that I find truthful. That’s what my job is,” Coogler told Coates. “The moment that I stop believing in what I’m doing whatever end product that I’m putting out is cooked; like, it’s done.”

And as for recasting Boseman, Coogler says it was never a remote possibility, neither for him nor the rest of the cast. “My truth is, Chad was gone, he wasn’t walking through that door and the world that we created over the years? He was the guy,” Coogler says.

“For somebody else to be him, you know what I mean? For us, in the world that we created? We wouldn’t have believed it. No matter how good the actor was, no matter how, you know what I’m saying? It would have been lacking the necessary truth for us to do a good job. And the truth, truth is the world that we pull from as artists. You know, our truth was, our truth was lost. Which is a fact of life. It’s the gift and the curse of life. Heroes, great men, die. “

You can listen to the podcast in its entirety here.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will release theatrically on Nov. 11.