The latest episode of What If..? was always going to be special. This was Chadwick Boseman’s final performance before his untimely death. And, as expected, he knocked it out of the park.
That was by no means assured. Sebastian Stan is a similarly talented actor and appeared to stumble when voicing Bucky in the debut episode, reminding us that voice-acting is a very different discipline. But Boseman nailed it: Bringing T’Challa’s regal bearing to Star-Lord and making it entirely believable that he was held in such high regard throughout the galaxy.
The episode has only been up for a few hours, but tributes are already pouring in online. Here’s a selection:
This episode will stand as a testament to how great Boseman was as T’Challa and a reminder of how much his absence will be felt going forward. This will be most keenly felt in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which is currently shooting in Atlanta.
Kevin Feige and Ryan Coogler have confirmed that they are neither recasting nor digitally recreating Boseman on screen, with the movie expected to explore the power vacuum left after T’Challa’s death and see Letitia Wright’s Shuri take up the Black Panther mantle.
That’s coming in July 2022, but for now we should count our blessings that Boseman voiced the character in this excellent episode. The story brought in almost all the MCU’s major cosmic characters, with other obvious highlights being Josh Brolin as Thanos “gone straight” and Seth Green reprising Howard the Duck.
But this was Boseman’s swansong and it was difficult not to feel a sense of loss when that final tribute to him appeared at the end of the episode. He will be missed.
What If..? is released each Wednesday on Disney Plus.