At the studio's Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend, the cast and crew for the November film decided to embrace that, even though they were aware of it. The shared loss of Boseman and T'Challa is the main point of the film. Collective grief is more important than anything else, from the introduction of Ironheart to whoever ends up being the new panther.
Kevin Feige took the idea of recasting T'Challa off the table after Boseman died. People have understood, but others have been urging Feige and the studio to make a change. Writing off T'Challa comes at the expense of audiences who saw themselves in him. The matter became more complicated when Boseman's brother said his brother would want another actor to play the role after his death. Letitia Wright, who plays Shuri in the film, is said to have had an anti-vaccine stance.
There is a weird energy around the movie that will make it easier to talk about. The ones in favor of a recast have a number of reasons, some of which are misogynistic and some of which are practical. At the center of the recasting desires is a very real and raw desire to see T'Challa live on; Boseman infused that character with a magnetic presence and warmth that he was able to capture even in the character's animated appearances. If there were any time to break that rule, it would be in this situation.
The Multiverse Saga and one of the upcoming movies being named after a massive multiversal soft reboot will definitely see T'Challa in some form again. The multiverse is a way around real world problems like these in the comics and shows. It isn't a question of "if" or "when."
It is alright that the movie is taking the most comfortable route at the moment. Adding a new actor into a role left by their friend wouldn't be fair and the cast and crew are already going to have to spend the next four months reiterating their feelings on a topic they don't want to. Not to the original cast, and certainly not to the newcomer, who would have to choose between doing justice to what came before and making their own. If Christopher Judge was worried about being compared to T'Challa in the game, then a film actor would be too. It's understandable to keep the Boseman version of the character locked off. They need to be good and ready before anyone knows how to proceed.
Black Panther will be released in theaters on November 11th.
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