In the aftermath of Chadwick Boseman's death in 2020, Marvel Studios moved forward with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever by honoring his memory and not recasting the role of T'Challa with another actor. Even after the release of the film, the decision remains controversial for some fans who still think that they should have recast the role with another actor.
Speaking with Deadline, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever producer and Marvel Studios executive Nate Moore recounted the story of how they found out about Boseman's death and the behind-the-scene conversations that they had on figuring out how they will move forward without him.
"There’s like… Pardon my French, but ‘Holy shit, what happened?’ And at first… I remember, literally, I was on the treadmill, and I got the call, and I was like, ‘Wait, what happened?’ And then we get on a phone call and your mind is processing it as an idea and not as an emotional experience," he said.
"Then you start to think about all the, ‘Oh, maybe that’s why X, and Y, and Z was happening.’ And then you process it emotionally and go like, ‘What do we do now?’ Like, should we even make this movie?"
Moore continued, "Like, how do you respond to the loss of not just your star, but a friend that you made, for me, two movies together with, and not feel like you’re just now going through the motions?"
However, the producer also iterated that recasting the role of T'Challa was never an option due to respect to the late actor's co-stars, who will be working on the sequel without his presence anymore.
He explained, "The notion of recasting never crossed my mind... I couldn’t imagine saying to Letitia [Wright], or Angela [Bassett], or Lupita [Nyong’o], ‘Hey, here’s the new T’Challa,’ ’cause we are people, you know, who have to make something we believe in and emotionally can get behind."
Whether you agree or disagree with their decision even now, you still have to give them credit since it wasn't easy for the people involved and it is what they felt was the right move back when they were making it as they're going through grief. It would be interesting to see now how they will move forward with the third film.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to arrive on Disney+ on February 1. You can check more details about it here.