Kevin Feige has broken his silence on the MCU’s reluctance to recast the Black Panther after Chadwick Boseman’s death. In an interview with Empire, the Marvel Studios president revealed why he was hesitant to begin an immediate search for the next Black Panther and cited a Stan Lee quote as a driving force.
“It just felt like it was much too soon to recast. Stan Lee always said that ‘Marvel represents the world outside your window,”‘ Feige, 49, expressed. “And we had talked about how, as extraordinary and fantastical as our characters and stories are, there’s a relatable and human element to everything we do.”
Marvel’s movie architect continued, speaking to the sudden loss of Boseman and how his death impacted the film’s creation.
“The world is still processing the loss of Chad. And [director] Ryan [Coogler] poured that into the story. The conversations were entirely about, yes, ‘What do we do next?’ And how could the legacy of Chadwick — and what he had done to help Wakanda and the Black Panther become these incredible, aspirational, iconic ideas — continue? That’s what it was all about.”
Boseman took the Marvel Cinematic Universe by storm with his debut appearance as Black Panther in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. From there, the late actor appeared in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther, and 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.
The acclaimed actor suddenly passed away in August 2020 due to complications from colon cancer. In immediate shock, fans began to wonder whether Boseman’s T’Challa would be recast or if the Black Panther mantle would be retired.
The speculation eventually led to a popular petition spearheaded by fans asking Marvel to recast the late actor to honor both Boseman and T’Challa.
Wakanda Forever, the sequel of the record-breaking Black Panther, premieres in theaters on Nov. 11.