Over a week after the news of Chadwick Boseman’s tragic death, fans are discussing the best way to respect and remember the Black Panther star. He’s going to get a statue in his home town, there will be a memorial in Hollywood and I suspect upcoming MCU movies will find a way to pay tribute to Boseman’s T’Challa on screen. Beyond that, though, folks have been looking to the future to think about how to tackle Black Panther 2.
Marvel Studios have a couple of options here. Most obvious is simply not making the film, though I doubt Boseman would have wanted the series to end with him. Another is digitally recreating the actor in the same manner as Carrie Fisher and Paul Walker were resurrected for their posthumous performances. Personally, I think they could get away with doing this for a single scene, but it’d be a disaster if it didn’t look right.
One avenue that’s definitely being ruled out, though, is recasting the role of T’Challa. According to sources close to WGTC – the same ones who told us Ben Affleck is returning for The Flash and a She-Hulk show is coming to Disney Plus, both of which were correct – the studio plans to write T’Challa out of the MCU via an off-screen death and have Shuri take the mantle of Black Panther (as she did in the comics).
In my opinion, this would be the best way to do it, as it’d allow the movie to become about Shuri figuring out how to live up to her legendary older brother. Perhaps if they wanted to push it a bit we could see a glimpse of Boseman’s T’Challa among his ancestors in the afterlife, but I hope Marvel Studios would have the good sense to do this as tastefully as possible.
Of course, the future of a superhero franchise is small potatoes in comparison to the tragedy of the actor’s death, but he clearly cared a lot about the character and loved how much of an inspiration to young fans T’Challa was. I don’t want to put words into his mouth, but if Black Panther 2 could continue that via Shuri, it seems like he’d approve.