Marvel has hinted that T’Challa may return to the franchise, but not the version that we’re familiar with. The studio was faced with a major challenge after Chadwick Boseman tragically passed away in August 2022, with the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever team electing to restructure the sequel around all the other characters and not recast the central role. However, it seems there is the possibility of a return at some point, thanks to the multiverse.
In an interview with the RingerVerse podcast, Marvel’s Vice President of Development Nate Moore was asked about the challenges of moving ahead with the BP franchise without Boseman and what this means for T’Challa. After taking a few moments to word his response correctly, Moore stated, “You will not see T’Challa in the MCU/616 universe [again]”.
Moore goes on to reveal that the Marvel team’s conversations with director Ryan Coogler resulted in them deciding within minutes that Boseman couldn’t be recast. See his full response via the video below:
Moore makes abundantly clear that Marvel is not interested in replacing Boseman and pretending like nothing’s happened, but his specification that we won’t see T’Challa in the “616” universe again feels loaded. Given that the multiverse looks to be a big buzzword for the MCU going forward, his phrasing suggests there is the opportunity for a variant of the Wakandan king to appear at some stage, with a new actor brought in to play them.
This could be a very smart plan. Many Marvel fans, while they adore Boseman’s performance, don’t want to lose the key character of T’Challa and are open to the idea of a recasting. Others, meanwhile, don’t want the late, great actor dishonored. So bringing in an alternate T’Challa — whether sooner or later — would be a neat way of appeasing both groups.
Moore’s comments will no doubt ignite theories of a T’Challa variant appearing in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which is shooting now ahead of its arrival in theaters on November 11, 2022.