‘Black Panther’ fans petition to recast T’Challa

Some MCU fans believe the leader of Wakanda should be recast after Chadwick Boseman's untimely death

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Black Panther fans want T’Challa back in the next film.

Fans of the franchise are making it known they want to see the iconic character return in the sequel. After actor Chadwick Boseman, who played the superhero and leader of Wakanda, died last year, Marvel Studios and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler said King T’Challa wouldn’t be replaced. But now a petition has been created and amassed a slew of signatures requesting the return of the character, per People.

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“In August of 2020, the world mourned the death of Chadwick Boseman. To many, he was known for his on-screen role of Black Panther in the Marvel Universe. While his character of T’Challa was adored by fans, there have been rumors that Marvel will kill off his character in the new movie and for good,” reads the petition created by E-Man’s Movie Reviews.

At the time of this article’s publication, it had amassed over 5,000 signatures.

Chadwick Boseman on the set of ‘Black Panther.’

“This is a call for the President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige, Co-President Louis D’Esposito, and Writer/Director Ryan Coogler to reconsider their decision, and recast the role of “T’Challa” in the Black Panther franchise,” the petition reads.

 If Marvel Studios removes T’Challa, it would be at the expense of the audiences (especially Black boys and men) who saw themselves in him. That also includes the millions of fans who were inspired by the character as well. 

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By not recasting, it could stifle the opportunity for one of the most popular, leading Black superheroes to add on to their legacy. The #1 way to kill a legend, is to stop telling their story.”

The fans clearly know what they want but back in December, Feige announced the character would not be recast, per People.

Instead the film will, “will explore the world of Wakanda & the rich characters introduced in the first film,” Disney confirmed in a tweet.

The film’s executive producer, Victoria Alonso, also spoke out last year about the iconic character’s future.

“There’s only one Chadwick, and he’s no longer with us,” said Alonso. “Sadly, our king has died in real life, not only in fiction, and we’re taking a little time to see how we continue the story and how to honor this chapter of what has unexpectedly happened to us, so painful and terrible to be honest.”

“Chadwick wasn’t only a wonderful human being, every day of the five years we spent together, but also, I believe, that what he did as a character elevated us as a company, and has left his moment on history.”

But fans are not the only ones scratching their heads about the character’s future. Actress Angela Bassett who played Wakandan Queen Ramonda, T’Challa’s mother is wondering why the character cannot return.

“I had not thought about that idea, but of course it is Wakanda and they are, in terms of technology, they are so far ahead of the rest of the world that they would be able to bring some of that,” said Bassett, 62, who called the decision to not recast “interesting” back in January.

The petition ends by saying Boseman would have wanted a replacement:

“Chadwick Boseman wanted people to see the role, and not himself. He believed that the roles he took on were bigger than himself, and the role of T’Challa was no exception. (Listen here) He took on the role of T’Challa because he knew the history and significance of both the character and the Black Panther franchise. (Listen to his own words here.)

Even despite his cancer diagnosis, he still signed on for a Black Panther 3 film. We all should honor Chadwick Boseman for what he’s done on and off-screen because he was a superhero in real life. Marvel should continue to honor and celebrate Chadwick Boseman in as many ways as they wish without compromising the legendary character of T’Challa.”

Black Panther II is slated to be released on July 8, 2022.

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